Singtel-tied Airtel Africa aims to raise US$750 million in London IPO

Singtel retail outlet at Tiong Bahru PlazaSingtel retail outlet at Tiong Bahru Plaza; photo taken pre-Covid

Airtel Africa plans to proceed with an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, aiming to raise US$750 million, Bharti Airtel said in a filing to the Indian stock exchanges Tuesday.

The offering will also include a greenshoe option, or an overallotment option allowing the sale of more shares than initially planned, for up to 15 percent more shares, Bharti Airtel said.

Airtel Africa is also considering listing its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the filing said.

The proceeds are earmarked for reducing net debt, Bharti Airtel said.

Airtel Africa is the continent’s second-largest telecom operator, with a customer base of 91 million and is in the top two in most of its 14 markets, Singtel said in October, adding the mobile wallet service, Airtel Money, has 11.8 million subscribers.

Singtel is the single largest shareholder in Bharti Airtel with an effective interest of 35.2 percent, and it has also invested directly in Airtel Africa.

Airtel Africa had net assets of around US$1.17 billion as of 30 September.

Africa is expected to be the world’s fastest growing mobile market, with unique mobile subscribers expected to rise to more than 500 million by 2020 from 420 million at the end of 2016, Singtel said in October, citing data from a GSMA 2017 mobile economy report.

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