Bharti Airtel plans for IPO in Africa

Airtel IPOThe African unit of Bharti Airtel Ltd, one of the largest telecom operators in India, is planning to launch initial public offering (IPO) to the African market

Airtel Africa is operated by Amsterdam-based Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV. The India-based telecom company said that it has started discussions with banks and intermediaries to evaluate the IPO listing.

“The above discussions are at an exploratory stage and at this juncture, there is no certainty of any final decision or outcome,” Bharti Airtel said.

As reported by VCCircle, Airtel Africa provides telecommunications services in 15 countries with Nigeria being the most profitable market.

With the IPO listing, the mobile-phone operator aims to generate capital to expand its international businesses and reduce the debt burden of its India operations.

The revenue of the telecom operator in Africa grew by 5.3 per cent year-on-year to US$783mn compared with US$744mn last year. According to the company, the growth was mainly due to the growth in data and Airtel money transaction value across the continent.

The telecom company started business in Africa in 2010 after pruchasing Zain’s operations in the continent. In the last few years, the company has been spreading throughout the continent and made three small-ticket acquisitions in Uganda, Congo Brazzaville and Kenya.

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said that the telecom operator is looking forward for long-term operations in Kenya and Tanzania. It further looks to take proactive steps in Africa to expand its businesses.

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