Airtel Africa gets QIA backing

Image Credit: Pixabay

Airtel Africa attracted another significant investment last week, this time from a middle eastern sovereign wealth fund. The Africa unit of Bharti Airtel has raised $200 million from the Qatar Investment Authority in a primary equity offering, the details of which were not made available. In October last year, we reported that the business had landed $1.25 billion from a group of investors including private equity giants Softbank and Warburg Pincus as well as Singapore sovereign wealth investor, Temasek. According to Nikkei Asian Review, that deal valued the company at $4.4 billion, a premium to other global telecoms companies.

As with the investment in October, this latest found of capital will be used to pay down debt prior to a planned IPO for the unit, the date and location for which has yet to be confirmed. Some reports quote sources as saying that, in total, these global fund investments have shrunk Bharti Airtel’s holding in its Africa unit to some 67%. Bharti entered the African market in 2010 through the acquisition of Zain’s operations on the continent. Today the company serves over 90 million customers in some 15 countries in Africa.

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