Airtel Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group, Bharti Airtel Ltd, is considering a stock market flotation in London, designed to expand its data and mobile money services across Africa.
The telecoms company has also indicated interest to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which is one of the 14 countries where it currently operates.
When listed on the NSE, Airtel will become the second telecommunication company in Nigeria to be so listed.
Nigeria’s biggest telecommunication by market share, MTN, on May 16, 2019, listed 20.35 billion shares on the Nigerian bourse at N99 per share.
Airtel Africa is aiming to raise about $1 billion in a June equity offering, a source close to the deal said.
Airtel operates in 14 African markets, including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda and Zambia.
Last year, the telecom operator raised $1.25 billion from six global investors, including SoftBank Group Corp, Warburg Pincus LLC and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.
A further $200 million was raised in January from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), valuing the company just under $5 billion.
A report by Reuters said Airtel Africa is looking to trade on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, using its premium listing segment, which has more stringent rules than the European Union’s minimum requirements, and sell 25 per cent of new shares to reduce existing debts.
The cash injection from current investors have already helped to reduce Airtel Africa’s net debt to $4 billion in March, compared to $7.7 billion in the previous year.
Its net income reached $83 million in the year to March, compared to a net loss of $49 million a year earlier.