Airtel Africa Raises $1.25 Bn From SoftBank, Five Other Investors


Sunday, October 28, 2018   07:06PM  / By BusinessLine


Airtel Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, said on Wednesday it raised $1.25 billion from six global investors including SoftBank Group Corp, Warburg Pincus LLC and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.


It also said it was looking to go public on an international stock exchange.


Six global investors, including Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel and SoftBank Group International, have agreed to invest USD 1.25 billion through a primary equity issuance in Airtel Africa, the company said Wednesday.


The investment will be used to reduce Airtel Africa’s existing debt of approximately USD 5 billion and for growth of its African operations, the Bharti Airtel unit listed in UK said.


”...Six leading global investors comprising Warburg Pincus,Temasek, Singtel, SoftBank Group International and others have agreed to invest USD 1.25 billion through a primary equity issuance in the company at a post money equity value of approximately USD 4.4 billion,” Airtel Africa said in a statement.


Airtel Africa has seen a turnaround of its business in recent years. The Africa business unit in the last few quarters mitigated the impact of turbulent tariff war going on in India on consolidated financial performance of Bharti Airtel.


“This primary equity issuance clearly underlines the confidence of leading global investors in Airtel Africa’s successful business strategy and its potential to sustain growth and profitability,” Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Africa, Bharti Airtel, said.


Airtel Africa subsequently intends an initial public offering and use the proceeds primarily for further reduction of debt, the statement said.


“The transaction will help us further deleverage our balance sheet and boost our capacity to upgrade networks, expand coverage in different markets and achieve rapid growth of Airtel Money across our operations,” Mandava said.


The present transaction will not involve any sale of shares by existing shareholders, the company said.


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