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Airtel Africa Raises $1.25 Billion

As Airtel Africa redesigns its business to become a quasi financial institution, Nigeria investors should encourage it to list in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Among all the telcos today, Airtel is closest to the sector that typically does well in NSE. We have always punished tech companies but we like financial institutions. Airtel is closer to a deal house than a telecom company as it continues to outsource core infrastructure investments. The numbers have responded as the firm is recording improving margins. The firm just raised $1.25 billion from Softbank, Temasek, etc. IPO is next.

Bharti Airtel announced it was getting six marquee investors to put a total of $1.25 billion in its fully-owned subsidiary, Airtel Africa.

This will be through the issue of new equity, followed soon by an Initial Public Offer (IPO) on the international stock exchange.


The six investors include Warburg Pincus, an earlier investor in Bharti, Temasek, existing partner Singtel (which has invested $250 million) and SoftBank International. With this deal, Bharti Airtel's stake in the company will go down from 100 per cent to 71 per cent.

Is it really a case of 'punishing' the telecom or tech companies, or that the market here doesn't seem to know how to do proper valuation, so as to extract the best value?

We like financial institutions, but they haven't solved many problems here, maybe it's time to bring more players to the market. Tech is the talk of the town in many jurisdictions, but barely mentioned in our capital market.

It starts by reviewing SEC's regulatory framework, looking at how best to simplify the processes.

We are not the most patient people on earth, and when something you are trying to understand and play in, starts wasting your time, there's a great temptation to abandon it altogether .