Singtel associate Bharti Airtel to sell 25% stake in data centre business for US$235m

The transaction is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singtel's Indian associate Bharti Airtel is proposing to sell about 25 per cent of its stake in wholly-owned data centre subsidiary Nxtra Data for US$235 million (S$327.4 million) to an affiliate of global investment firm The Carlyle Group.

The buyer, Comfort Investments II, is an affiliated entity of CAP V Mauritius Limited, an investment fund managed and advised by Carlyle's affiliated entities.

The transaction is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, including approval from the Competition Commission of India, according to a Bharti Airtel statement shared by Singtel as a regulatory update on Wednesday (July 1)

Nxtra is engaged in the data centre business and will have a post-money enterprise valuation of US$1.2 billion. Headquartered in New Delhi, Nxtra offers secure data centre services to leading Indian and global enterprises, hyperscalers, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and governments.

It has a nationwide portfolio of 10 large data centres and more than 120 edge data centres providing customers with co-location services, cloud infrastructure, managed hosting, data backup, disaster recovery, and remote infrastructure management.

Gopal Vittal, Bharti Airtel managing director and chief executive of India and South Asia, said: "Rapid digitisation has opened up a massive growth opportunity for data centres in India and we plan to accelerate our investments to become a major player in this segment."

Neeraj Bharadwaj, Carlyle Asia Partners advisory team managing director, said that India is set to become one of the largest markets in the world for digital services.

"Airtel, with its proven track record of solid execution and customer focus, is well-positioned to leverage the potential growth of data centres in India," he noted.

Singtel shares were trading $0.02 or 0.8 per cent higher at $2.48 as at 10.41am on Wednesday on a cum-dividend basis.

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