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Blackstone in Talks to Buy Minority Stake in India Data Center and Network Provider Sify

The operator recently said it was expanding its data center footprint in cities including Mumbai, Noida and Chennai.

Gillian Tan and Cathy Chan (Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group Inc. is in exclusive talks to acquire a minority stake in India’s Sify Technologies Ltd., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The communications infrastructure firm has sought a valuation of around $1 billion to $1.2 billion in a transaction, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. It’s unclear what valuation the Blackstone stake purchase will be struck at and talks could still fall apart.

Sify’s American depositary receipts rose 6.7% in pre-market trading on Friday in the U.S. The company had a market value of about $484 million as of Thursday.

Representatives for Blackstone and Sify declined to comment.

Sify, led by Chairman Raju Vegesna and CEO Kamal Nath, owns and operates data centers as well as India’s largest multiprotocol label switching, or MLPS, network, its website shows. In a January earnings call, the company said it was expanding its data center footprint in cities including Mumbai, Noida and Chennai.

Blackstone has struck several deals in India in recent months, acquiring the glass unit of conglomerate Piramal Enterprises Ltd. and real estate assets from developer Prestige Estates Projects Ltd. Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd., controlled by the asset manager, has filed a draft prospectus with India’s market regulator in January for an initial public offering that could raise about $1 billion.

U.S. data-center giant Equinix Inc. in August said it would expand into India by acquiring operations of GPX Global Systems Inc. in the country.

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