Bharti Airtel will receive a $1 billion investment from Google.

  • Jan. 28, 2022, 11:08 a.m.

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel on Friday announced that Google will invest up to $1 billion in the telecom major as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund. The deal includes Google investing $700 million to acquire 1.28 per cent ownership in Airtel and up to $300 million towards potential multi-year commercial agreements.

The partnership, the telecom operator said, will focus on enabling affordable access to smartphones across price ranges, and will continue to explore building on their existing partnerships to potentially co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards. It will also help accelerate the cloud ecosystem for businesses across India.

Google International LLC will be allotted 71,176,839 equity shares of Bharti Airtel on a preferential basis at Rs 734 a piece, aggregating to Rs 5,224.38 crore ($700 million). The stock rose 1.95 per cent to hit a high of Rs 721 in initial trade.

The $300 million amount will go towards implementing commercial agreements, which will include investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings that cover a range of devices to consumers via affordability programs, as well as other offerings aimed at accelerating access and digital inclusion across India’s digital ecosystem. "This deal will be subject to necessary regulatory approvals," Bharti Airtel said.

At present, Airtel’s promoter group–the Mittal family and SingTel–holds 55.93 percent of the telco, and the rest is held by the public. The Mittal family directly and indirectly owns around 24.13 percent, while SingTel holds 31.72 percent. As a part of its first commercial agreement, Airtel and Google will work together to build on Airtel’s offerings that cover a range of Android-enabled devices for 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, Airtel said in a BSE filing.

"Airtel and Google share the vision to grow India’s digital dividend through innovative products. With our future ready network, digital platforms, last mile distribution and payments ecosystem, we look forward to working closely with Google to increase the depth and breadth of India’s digital ecosystem," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said "Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is a continuation of our Google for India Digitization Fund's efforts to increase access to smartphones, enhance connectivity to support new business models, and help companies on their digital transformation journey." 

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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