19 September 2018

Africa: Bharti Airtel Picks Banks for London Flotation of Africa Business

In February Bharti Airtel Ltd said the holding company for its Africa operations was looking at a potential Initial Public Offering.

According to ET, India, the appointment of banks for a London listing is a sign the process is progressing. India's biggest mobile carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd has chosen UBS, JP Morgan and Citi to coordinate the London initial public offering of its Africa business, two sources familiar with the matter told ET India.

Bharti Airtel and the banks declined to comment. The company has not given a timeframe for the listing to happen.

The sources declined to comment on the valuation of the Africa operations but the business represents just over a quarter of the revenue of the listed entity, which has a $20 billion market capitalisation.

Bharti Airtel owns telecom assets in 14 African countries. In the quarter ending June 2018, Africa revenue was 201 billion Indian rupees ($2.80 billion) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 68 billion rupees.

Globally the company has almost 460 million customers. In the quarter ending June 2018, it posted revenue of $3 billion with EBITDA of more than $1 billion. ($1 = 71.7900 Indian rupees).

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, Airtel has said it will continue to promote corporate philanthropy in line with its vision of empowering and assisting underprivileged Nigerians.

Speaking at a media viewing of Episode 12 of Airtel Touching Lives Season 4, the company's Director of Corporate Communications & CSR, Emeka Oparah, said it is part of the telco's strategy to continue to give back to the communities where it operates and also encourage other corporate organizations and individuals to adopt the spirit of giving.

According to Oparah, the Airtel Touching initiative, which was initiated four years ago, has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in areas such as healthcare delivery, economic empowerment, water, environment and primary education.

"You and I know that the government cannot provide all the basic needs, so as a socially responsible organisation, we elected to try and do this and in the past four years; I'm proud to say we've done a bit of our own to help out.

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