It seems that Airtel has found new ways to reduce its debt as it is selling its stake in Nxtra Data, a data centre business. The company is selling a 25 percent stake to the U.S.-based Carlyle Group at $235 million (close to Rs. 1,774.25 crore).
Once the deal is done, Carlyle Group will hold 25 percent, while Airtel will hold a 75 percent share in the Nxtra Data. However, the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including from the Competition Commission of India. “Rapid digitization 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,” said Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel.
For the unaware, Nxtra is offering data centre services to enterprises, start-ups, small and medium enterprises, and government. The company has 10 large data centers, 120 edge data centers, data backup, disaster recovery, remote infrastructure management, cloud infrastructure, and managed hosting.
Moreover, Nxtra has established data centres in Pune, and now it is planning to expand in Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata. The development comes soon after TRAI data, where Airtel has become the second operator with more than 28 percent market share in the country.
On the other hand, Vodafone-Idea has issued a subscriber base, and it has 291 million subscribers at the end of Q4 FY20 as against 304 million in Q3, while Reliance Jio is leading in both subscriber and in the market shares. The company has managed to garner 382 million users at the end of February 2020.
Looking at the situation, it seems Airtel is going to focus on its telecom business that why’s it is selling its stake in other segments to reduce its debt. Airtel has so far paid Rs. 18,000 crore to the government as an AGR debt, and now it is looking for 20 years to pay the whole amount.
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