Airtel Africa eyes LSE, Nigerian bourse listing

Funds to be used to reduce debt

May 28, 2019 10:43 pm | Updated 10:43 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of telecom major Bharti Airtel, on Tuesday said it is looking to undertake an IPO to list shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The company had sought approval from U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority for the offer.

Additionally, the company is also considering listing its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Any net proceeds from the issue of new shares would be used to reduce debt.

Last year, Airtel Africa had raised $1.25 billion from six global investors, including SoftBank Group Corp., Warburg Pincus LLC and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd., valuing the company at $4.4 billion.

Airtel operates in 14 African markets, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda and Zambia. Airtel Africa has a debt of about $3.5 billion.

Second-largest operator

“Since first investing in Africa almost nine years ago, we have well leveraged our expertise in emerging markets to deliver on a clearly-defined strategy to build Airtel Africa into a market leading mobile service provider, increasingly expanding beyond voice into data services and Airtel Money. Today, Airtel Africa is the second largest mobile operator in Africa,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal chairman, Airtel Africa.

“With the recent equity investments into the business by globally recognised long-term investors, Airtel Africa is in a strong position to build its own capital market profile, allowing others to join us in a real business success story,” he said.

The new board of directors is committed to carry forward the strong legacy of corporate governance of the parent company, Mr. Mittal said.

“Immediately following admission, the company intends to have a free float of at least 25% of the company's issued share capital and expects that it would be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK indices…In addition, it is expected that up to a further 15% of the offer will be made available pursuant to the over-allotment option,” the company said in its registration document

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