India’s Bharti Airtel reportedly is considering selling its Bangladesh and Sri Lanka operations, which are both minor players in the low-ARPU markets.
Airtel has appointed two bankers to lead the sale, according to the Business Standard. Reports said it first plans to sell its tower business and then the mobile business in both countries. Airtel has about 2,500 towers in Sri Lanka and 4,000 in Bangladesh.
The Airtel brand has less than a 7 per cent market share in Bangladesh and is the fourth largest among eight operators – the four smallest have a combined share of less than 5 per cent. In Sri Lanka it is the smallest of five players with a 9 per cent market share.
Airtel’s revenue from operations in South Asia, which includes Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, fell 11 per cent in Q2 to INR3.8 billion ($57.3 million).
A month ago Airtel denied it planned to exit Africa, despite holding exclusive talks with Orange over the sale of four of its units in the continent.
Orange announced earlier it was in discussions to acquire subsidiaries in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and Sierra Leone from Airtel, with a Q4 2015 target to complete the deal.