Bharti Airtel Sets Africa IPO In Motion, Appoints These 8 Global Bankers; Shares Jump 3%

Telecom major Bharti Airtel’s Africa business arm has announced the appointment of eight global banks including J P Morgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to work on its intended IPO. “Airtel Africa announced the appointment of global banks for an intended IPO on an international stock exchange. The banks appointed are JP Morgan, Citigroup, BofA Merrill Lynch, Absa Group Limited, Barclays Bank PLC, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International and Standard Bank Group,” Bharti Airtel said in a press release.

On the back of the news, shares of the Sunil Bharti Mittal-led firm rose 3% to emerge as the top gainer in the Sensex this morning. Bharti Airtel share price zoomed more than 3.3% to hit intra-day high of Rs 338.90. Airtel’s Africa arm operates in about 14 countries across Africa where it offers 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services and mobile commerce through ‘Airtel Money’.

Notably, the development comes after the recent subscription of shares in Airtel Africa by six leading global investors including PE giant Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel, SoftBank Group International and others for an aggregate amount of $1.25 billion. The company intends to utilise this fund to lower debt of its Africa unit which stands at around $5 billion. Earlier this month, Airtel Africa also announced its newly constituted Board, which includes representatives from Bharti Airtel and the investors.

“The new Board of Directors brings a wealth of industry and governance experience to further drive the Airtel Africa business,” Airtel said. In the latest quarter, Bharti Airtel has reported a 3.6% decline in its India revenues on year-on-year while the Africa revenues rose 10.8%. The revenue from Africa business rose to Rs 5,647.2 crore during September quarter from Rs 5,203 crore in the same period of the previous year. – Financial Express

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