Airtel Africa says it has appointed eight banks for an intended initial public offering (IPO) on an international stock exchange.
According to Indian newspaper, Financial Chronicle, the company,, a unit of Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd, has appointed JP Morgan, Citigroup Inc, BofA Merrill Lynch, Absa Group Limited, Barclays Bank PLC, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International and Standard Bank Group Ltd, it said.
This follows the recent subscription of shares in Airtel Africa by six leading global investors comprising of Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel, SoftBank Group International and others for an aggregate consideration of USD 1.25 Billion. Earlier this month, Airtel Africa also announced its newly constituted Board of Directors that includes representatives from Bharti Airtel and the investors. The new Board of Directors brings a wealth of industry and governance experience to further drive the Airtel Africa business.
The financial performance of Airtel Africa continues to improve, having turned positive in terms of net profit and operating free cash flow. During the second quarter ending 30 September 2018, Airtel Africa’s revenues grew in constant currency by 10.8% Y-o-Y, led by growth in data and Airtel money transactions.
Last year, the company was forced to media reports that it was looking at exiting Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, terming them “completely incorrect, unfounded and devoid of any facts.”
“Airtel has consistently stated that it is open to consolidation opportunities, either through acquisitions or mergers, to create sustainable businesses in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. It was never stated that Airtel was looking at exiting these markets, as stated in the past, our focus continues to be either the No. 1 or No. 2 operator in each country where we operate, through market consolidation,” it said in a statement.
“To this effect, Airtel acquired assets in Uganda and CongoB (Warid), Kenya (Yu) and consolidated operations in Ghana (Millicom). The customers in these markets now enjoy a superior and wider network, affordable voice & data services, and better customer care. This validates our stand that in-country consolidations have resulted in achieving better market positions, thereby benefiting customers and the industry as a whole. To underscore our commitment in Kenya, we have embarked on investing heavily in all technologies (2G, 3G and 4G) and are putting up over 300 sites over the next few months to improve coverage even further.”