Google to Invest $1 Billion in Partnership With Airtel to Help Grow India’s Digital Ecosystem

Google will invest up to $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,510 crore) in Airtel in a move that could help bolster the Indian telecom operator’s digital offerings, the companies said.

The investment includes a $700 million (roughly Rs. 5,255 crore) equity investment in airtel at a price of Rs. 734 per share and up to $300 million (roughly Rs. 2,250 crore) towards implementing commercial agreements, including investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings, the companies said.

The share issue is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and comes months after Airtel raised up to Rs. 21,000 crore through a sale of shares to existing shareholders.

Airtel shares were up 0.54 percent at 711 rupees after the announcement.

Google announced plans less than two years ago to infuse $10 billion (roughly Rs. 75,060 crore) in India via its digitization fund over five to seven years through equity deals and tie-ups.

Conglomerate Reliance’s digital unit Jio Platformswhich houses Airtel’s telecom rival Jio, received an investment of $4.5 billion (roughly Rs. 33,775 crore) from Google in July 2020. In return, the US tech behemoth got a seat on Jio’s board.