CCI approves Carlyle Group's stake acquisition in Airtel's data centre business

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday said it has approved acquisition of compulsorily convertible preference shares and equity shares in Airtel’s data centre business, Nxtra Data, by Carlyle Group’s Comfort Investments II. The Carlyle Group in July said it will acquire about 25 per cent stake in Nxtra Data Ltd for USD 235 million (about Rs 1,780 crore).

This will peg the enterprise valuation of Nxtra Data at USD 1.2 billion, which is over Rs 9,084 crore.

On completion of the deal, Carlyle will hold about 25 per cent stake in the business, with Airtel continuing to hold the remaining stake of about 75 per cent.

In a tweet, the regulator said it “approves proposed acquisition of compulsorily convertible preference shares & equity shares in Nxtra Data Limited @NxtraDataLtd by Comfort Investments II of Carlyle Group.”

Nxtra Data is a fully-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Ltd and provides data centre colocation services through its 10 data centres located in India, while Comfort Investments II is a special purpose acquisition vehicle, owned and controlled by investment funds advised by the affiliates of The Carlyle Group Inc., a combination notice filed with CCI noted.

In a separate tweet, CCI said it has approved Tau Investment Holdings Pte. Ltd’s proposed acquisition of shares in JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

As per a combination notice filed with the regulator, the proposed transaction involves acquiring up to 64.90 per cent of total voting equity share capital of JB Chemicals by Tau Investment on a fully diluted basis by way of a share purchase agreement dated July 2, 2020, pursuant to the mandatory open offer in compliance with markets regulator Sebi’s Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers norms.

JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals is an Indian pharmaceutical company headquartered in Mumbai, while Tau Investment is a Singapore-based firm primarily engaged in holding investments.

It is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of KKR Asian Fund III L.P. (Ontario), the notice said.

Separately, the regulator also approved Lightstone Fund S.A’s acquisition of equity stake in five firms on behalf of Lightstone Global Fund.

The firms in which Lightstone Fund S.A would be picking stakes are — Ascent Health and Wellness Solutions Pvt Ltd, Aahaan Commercials Pvt Ltd, Lokprakash Vidhya Pvt Ltd, 91Streets Media Technologies Pvt Ltd and API Holdings Pvt Ltd.

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