Airtel Africa raises $1.25 billion to reduce its debt and expand operations

Airtel Africa states that the present transaction will not involve any sale of shares by existing shareholders.

Other investors are Warburg Pincus LLC and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd, Temasek and Singtel.

The company said the investment will be used to reduce Airtel Africa's existing debt of approximately $5 billion and for the growth of its African operations.

"...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 seen by Business Insider SSA on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.

Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Africa, Bharti Airtel, while commenting on the deal said, “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."

"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.

Airtel Africa plans international IPO

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

It further stated that the present transaction will not involve any sale of shares by existing shareholders.

The Nigerian unit, Airtel Nigeria has over 39 million active voice subscription in the country as per the Q2 telecoms data released by the country's statistical office.

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