Last week, we reported Airtel Africa’s plan to list shares on the London Stock Exchange. As at the time of reporting, our sources were unconfirmed. Airtel has confirmed the approval for the registration documents from the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The company plans to raise about $1 billion from the sale of at least 25% stakes in the process.
They intend to use proceeds from this IPO to reduce net debt. Airtel also revealed plans to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. If plans fall through, Airtel will be the second Telco to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after MTN Nigeria Limited.
As at March 2018, they recorded a net debt of $7.7 billion. The debt reduced to $4 billion with the help of existing investors like SoftBank Group, Warburg Pincus LLC and Temasek Holdings Ltd. Airtel also raised $1.25 billion from global investors through a primary equity issuance last year. An additional $200 million was raised in January 2019 from the Qatar Investment Authority.
They have appointed JP Morgan Securities Plc, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Inc, Absa Group Limited, Barclays Bank Plc, HSBC, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International, and Standard Group Limited as advisors on the stock market entry.
Airtel Africa is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Ltd. It a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, present in 14 countries across Africa. The company offers mobile voice, mobile data, and Airtel money services.
Airtel recorded a total number of 98.9 million subscribers and 14.2 million mobile money customers at the end of Q1 2019. Nigeria represented the largest single country subscriber base with 37.6% of the total subscribers. East Africa accounted for 43.4% and the rest of Africa contributed 19.1% at the end of the first quarter.
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