Google likely to invest big in Airtel after financing rival Jio


Search giant Google is in talks to make ‘substantial investments’ in Bharti Airtel NSE 1.41 %. The Alphabet Inc subsidiary has already invested thousands of crores in Reliance Jio, a direct rival.

Google has been in ‘advanced stages of negotiations’ with Airtel for ‘nearly one year’ now and a ‘substantially large’ deal is potentially happening, TOI sources have said.

Top executives from both companies have been collectively working out the finer aspects of this partnership. Both companies’ internal and external legal teams, as well as their M&A teams are involved.

If the deal got through, it could be a sigh of relief for Sunil Mittal, with Airtel struggling to keep its head above water.

Airtel’s plight is largely due to Ambani’s revamp of the industry with free voice and dirt cheap data rates. The resultant pressure forced Vodafone and Idea NSE 1.69 % to merge.

Airtel’s board is set to meet on Sunday and plan fundraising options. The meeting takes place in light of Airtel’s current debt clocking in at nearly Rs 1.6 lakh crore at the end of June. The telco has been unable to raise tariffs freely, forcing it to explore other options.

Google’s data monetisation methods could help Airtel earn more money and work on its profitability.

Meanwhile, Airtel is conducting a board meeting on August 29, 2021 (Sunday) to raise money so that it can play or clear all dues before the actual time. The company has to clear AGR and spectrum dues by the end of this financial year-end.

Categories: Private Equity

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