Google to invest up to $1 bln in India’s Bharti Airtel

KATHMANDU: Telecom major Bharti Airtel informed that its board of directors at its meeting held today have approved the issuance of upto 7.1 crore equity shares of face value of ₹5/- each of the company to Google International LLC on a preferential basis at a price of ₹734/- per equity share.

Google will invest up to $1 billion in a partnership with Airtel as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund. The deal includes investment of $700 million to acquire 1.28% ownership in Airtel and up to $300 million toward potential multi-year commercial agreements.

“As part of this partnership, Google intends to invest up to $1 billion, as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund, which includes equity investment as well as a corpus for potential commercial agreements, to be identified and agreed on mutually agreeable terms over the course of the next five years,” Airtel announced.

Google’s investment on Airtel will comprise a $700 million equity investment in Bharti Airtel at a price per share of ₹734, and up to $300 million that will go towards implementing commercial agreements, which will include investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings that covers a range of devices to consumers. This deal will be subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

Google had announced plans less than two years ago to infuse $10 billion in India via its digitisation fund over five to seven years. It had invested in Reliance Industries Ltd’s digital unit Jio Platforms in July 2020.

“As a part of its first commercial agreement, Airtel and Google will work together to build on Airtel’s extensive offerings that covers a range of Android-enabled devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs. Together, the companies will continue to explore further opportunities to bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone across a range of price points, in partnership with various device manufacturers,” the Sunil Mittal-led telco added.

Shares of Bharti Airtel surged over 2% to ₹725 apiece on the BSE in Friday’s opening deals. Last week, the company had announced that the board will consider and evaluate the proposal for issuance of equity shares through preferential issue on January 28. Livemint



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Friday January 28, 2022, 12:31:35 PM |

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