Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) will invest up to $1 billion in Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS) in a move that could help bolster the Indian telecom operator’s digital offerings, the companies said on Friday.
The investment includes a $700 million equity investment in Airtel at a price of 734 rupees ($9.77) per share and up to $300 million towards implementing commercial agreements, including investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings, the companies said.
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The share issue is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and comes months after Airtel raised up to 210 billion rupees through a sale of shares to existing shareholders.
Airtel shares were up 0.54% at 711 rupees after the announcement.
Google announced plans less than two years ago to infuse $10 billion in India via its digitisation fund over five to seven years through equity deals and tie-ups.
Conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RELI.NS) digital unit Jio Platforms, which houses Airtel’s telecom rival Jio, received an investment of $4.5 billion from Google in July 2020. In return, the U.S. tech behemoth got a seat on Jio’s board.
Google invests $10 bn digitisation fund in India
US tech giant Google is investing in a $10 billion fund to help accelerate India’s transition to a digital economy in the next five to seven years.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc’s Google, said on Monday that the project will focus on building products that are relevant to India’s needs and empowering businesses for their “digital transformation”.
Google to launch digitisation fund for India
“Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation, but leads it,” Pichai said in a digital keynote at a Google for India event.
The company also announced it will invest $1 million to support digital education in India. It said the fund will enable one million teachers in 22,000 schools across the country to use Google services that can facilitate online learning.
Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk