Home » Indian billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Airtel Africa to buy out minority investors in Nigerian subsidiary in $148-million deal

Indian billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Airtel Africa to buy out minority investors in Nigerian subsidiary in $148-million deal

by Omokolade Ajayi
Sunil Bharti Mittal

One of Africa’s leading telecom groups, Airtel Africa, has announced its decision to acquire shares held by minority investors in its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel Nigeria).

A disclosure made public by the leading telecom service provider on the Nigerian Exchange revealed that its subsidiary operations in Nigeria had initiated a process under which it would buy back the 8.27-percent minority shareholdings at an offering price of N55.81 ($0.1358) per share.

The group revealed that if the minority shareholders decide to tender all their shares in line with the open offer, the total consideration is estimated to be N61.24 billion ($148.1 million using an exchange rate of N413.38/$).

As of March 31, the equity held by minority shareholders was valued at $58 million.

At the end of its 2020-2021 financial year, Airtel Nigeria generated $1.55 billion in revenue and a net profit of $332 million.

In Q1 of its 2022 financial year, which ended on June 30, Airtel Africa generated $1.11 billion in revenue and an operating profit of $259 million. Meanwhile, its Nigerian operations generated $445 million in revenue and $183 million in operating profit during the period under review. 

As of press time, Oct. 4, shares in Airtel Africa were trading at N715 per share on the Nigerian Exchange, giving the group a N2.69-trillion ($6.53 billion) valuation on the local bourse.

Figures contained in the group’s books revealed that Airtel Africa has a total cash balance of $620 million. This puts the company in an excellent position to mop up the equity held by minority shareholders.

Airtel Nigeria is the most profitable unit of Airtel Africa. The Nigerian team operates as a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, a leading telecom and mobile money services provider in Africa, with a presence in 14 countries on the continent.

The leading telecom service provider was founded in 2010 following the acquisition of Zain by Bharti Airtel in a deal worth $8.97 billion.

Bharti Airtel is a telecom outfit founded by Indian billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal. As of the time of drafting this report, his net worth was $14.1 billion, $3.6-billion more than his net worth in June 2021.

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