Home » Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal’s firm spends $115 million to increase interest in Airtel Africa

Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal’s firm spends $115 million to increase interest in Airtel Africa

by Omokolade Ajayi

In a bold step to further consolidate its presence in the leading telecom services provider, Bharti Overseas Pvt Limited, a company linked to Indian telecom billionaire Sunil Mittal, has solidified its position in Airtel Africa by increasing voting rights to 15.1 percent.

The move, facilitated through its subsidiary, Indian Continent Investment Limited, follows a strategic acquisition of 94,593,705 shares worth £90.85 million ($115.14 million) on Dec. 12, 2023 — this comes just one month after the company raised its voting rights to 12.58 percent.

Bharti Overseas’ recent move to enhance its stake in Airtel Africa underscores its commitment to fortify ties with the leading telecom provider, positioning Mittal’s interests prominently within the evolving landscape of the telecommunications industry.

Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal’s influence grows as entities increase stakes in Airtel Africa

With this latest transaction, Bharti Global Limited now commands a 3.38-percent stake in Airtel Africa. Simultaneously, Indian Continent Investment Limited has increased its voting rights to 11.72 percent, contributing to the growing influence of Mittal-linked entities within the company’s shareholder framework.

Mittal, the chairman of Bharti Airtel, has cemented his position as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, with a net worth of $15.4 billion — ranking 126th globally among the world’s richest individuals according to Bloomberg. 

The majority of Mittal’s fortune is derived from his 28-percent stake in Bharti Airtel, a New Delhi-based telecommunications business operating in 17 countries, boasting over 490 million customers and revenue of $17.3 billion in the year ending March 2023.

Strategic dominance: Airtel Africa thrives in 14 nations with 140 million customers

As a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, Airtel Africa operates across 14 Sub-Saharan countries, serving 140 million customers. While Bharti Airtel ranks as the world’s third-largest mobile service provider by subscriber numbers, Airtel Africa remains a key player on the African continent, trailing South African giants Vodacom and MTN Group.

The leading shareholder in Airtel Africa Plc remains Bharti Airtel Limited, a company primarily overseen by Singapore Telecommunications Limited, boasting a dominant 56-percent stake. Bharti Overseas Pvt Limited, with its present 15.1-percent stake, further solidifies its significant standing within the company’s shareholder framework.

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