Airtel, an Indian global telecommunications services company will consider listing its African unit on the London and Nigerian Stock Exchange to reduce existing debt.
Airtel Africa said it is looking to raise $1 billion through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, offering 25 percent of its shares.
A statement sent by the company to the Bombay Stock Exchange said “in furtherance to our previous limitations in this regard, we wish to inform you that Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of the company, has announced its potential intention to undertake an initial public offering for listing its equity shares on London Stock Exchange”.
The company may also follow the footsteps of MTN Nigeria, by listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
In 2018, Airtel raised $1.25 billion from six global investors including SoftBank Group Corp, Warburg Pincus LLC and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.
The company also raised another $200 million from Qatar Investment Authority in March of the same year, which helped in reducing the company’s debt to $4 billion in March from $7.7 billion in 2018.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel, Raghunath Mandava said “the 14 countries where we operate offer strong GDP growth potential and have young and fast growing populations, low customer and data penetration and inadequate banking infrastructure”.
He added that “these fast growing markets provide us a great opportunity to grow both our telecoms and payments businesses”.
Airtel Africa will list in two months time and BofA Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, and Citigroup have been appointed as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners.
If the offer proceeds, Absa Group, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC and The Standard Bank of South Africa will also act as joint bookrunners.