Google to Acquire Over 1% Stake in Bharti Airtel, Will Invest $1 Billion in Telco

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Google to Acquire Over 1% Stake in Bharti Airtel, Will Invest $1 Billion in Telco

By Malvika Gurung -- Telecom major Bharti Airtel (NS: BRTI ) and technology heavyweight Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) have entered into a strategic partnership on Friday, on a long-term and multi-year agreement.

In a regulatory filing on Jan 28, Airtel announced that Google will make investments worth $1 billion in the telecom major to tap into and boost India’s digital growth, as part of the Google for India Digitization Fund.

Of the $1 billion, Bharti Airtel has approved to issue 7.12 crore equity shares to Google on a preferential basis, priced at Rs 734 apiece, which totals to Rs 5,224.38 crore approximately, or $700 million.

Google will invest the remaining $300 million towards the execution of various long term commercial agreements, in the direction of expanding India’s digital growth and scaling the telecom major’s offerings.

The country’s second-largest telecom company will work with Google to diversify its offerings, which encapsulates a range of Android-enabled devices to consumers through innovative affordability programs, an example of which could be rival Reliance (NS: RELI ) Jio’s product JioPhone Next.

In its filing today, Bharti Airtel also noted to scale up the deployment of Google’s network virtualization solutions and co-create domestic network domain use-cases for the 5G network.

As the news broke, Bharti Airtel’s shares surged 6% in early trade on Friday, now trading 1.75% higher at Rs 719.2 apiece.

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