Airtel Africa IPO facing opposition - Mobile World Live

Airtel Africa IPO facing opposition

05 NOV 2018

Tanzania’s government slammed Bharti Airtel’s planned IPO of its Africa business as unlawful adding the country, which holds a stake in the operation, should have been consulted, Business Standard reported.

The state owns 40 per cent of Airtel Tanzania (one of 14 units which make up Airtel Africa), with the remainder held by Airtel.

Airtel Africa is in the process of preparing a long-awaited IPO and last month raised $1.25 billion from backers including SoftBank and Singtel to cut debt ahead of the sale.

In a statement seen by Business Standard, the company said it had already informed Tanzania’s authorities about the IPO and the recent inward investments. It added there would be no change in the ownership structure of its unit in the country.

This is not the first time Airtel has been at loggerheads with authorities in Tanzania. In late 2017, the state opened an investigation into whether the unit, which was acquired from Zain Group, had been set up using assets illegally acquired from the government under a previous political administration.

Airtel denied any wrongdoing and, following talks between the two, it appeared an agreement had been reached, though no formal notification was made.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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