Airtel Africa has submitted registration documents to the UK Financial Conduct Authority to list shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), according to papers seen by Business Insider SSA by Pulse. The documents, if approved will allow Airtel Africa to list equity shares on London Stock Exchange in a bid to reduce its existing debts.
The telecom firm, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel Ltd, may raise $1 billion through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, offering 25% of its shares. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Airtel Africa, while commenting on the planned listing said the company is in a “strong position” to build its own capital market profile.
“Since first investing in Africa almost nine years ago, we have well leveraged our expertise in emerging markets to deliver on a clearly-defined strategy to build Airtel Africa into a market leading mobile service provider, increasingly expanding beyond voice into data services and Airtel Money. Today, Airtel Africa is the second largest mobile operator in Africa,” Mittal noted.
“With the recent equity investments into the business by globally recognised long-term investors, we believe that Airtel Africa is in a strong position to build its own capital market profile, allowing others to join us in a real business success story”. “The new Board of Directors is committed to carry forward the strong legacy of corporate governance of the parent company,” he added.
Last year, Airtel Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, appointed eight banks for an intended initial public offering (IPO) on an international stock exchange. The global banks are JP Morgan, Citigroup Inc, BofA Merrill Lynch, Absa Group Limited, Barclays BankPlc, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International and Standard Bank Group Ltd. In a statement released late October, the telecom firm said the initial public offering will be used to further reduce its $5 billion existing debt and grow the continent’s market. Airtel currently operates 14 countries in Africa and Nigeria is its largest market.