NEW DELHI: Google will invest as much as $1 billion in Bharti Airtel in picking up a 1.28 per cent stake and in scaling up offerings of India’s second-largest mobile phone operator, the telecom major said on Friday.
Alphabet Inc’s Google will pay $700 million (Rs 734 per share) for a 1.28 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd and the rest towards multi-year plans that will include devices.
This will be the second investment by Google, which had two years ago committed to investing $10 billion in India via its digitization fund over 5 to 7 years through equity deals and tie-up. It had in July 2020, invested $4.5 billion for a 7.73 per cent stake in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms.
While the 2020 investment valued Jio Platforms’ equity at Rs 4.36 lakh crore ($58.1 billion), the $700 million investment announced on Friday values Bharti Airtel’s equity at Rs 4.1 lakh crore ($54.7 billion).
The US tech behemoth got a seat on Jio’s board and has co-developed JioPhone Next - the world’s most affordable all-touchscreen smartphone running on Pragati OS an optimized version of Android OS.
The funding from Google gives billionaire Sunil Mittal-led Bharti more firepower to bolster its 5G plans as well as take on market leader Jio.
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