Bharti Airtel’s potential IPO of its Africa operations is reportedly attracting the attention of a number of banks, which are all holding informal discussions with the operator about securing the listing.
Sources told TMT Finance five or six banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and UBS have offered proposals on potential valuations and places of listing, although the company is yet to request formal plans.
TMT Finance reported Airtel’s management would prefer a London listing, but this also remains to be decided.
Bharti Airtel International (BAIN), the holding company which runs the Indian operator’s African subsidiary, confirmed in February it was investigating a potential IPO of the unit, which could be valued at around $6.6 billion, around six-times its EBITDA.
Factoring in an estimated $5.5 billion net debt, an equity valuation would amount to around $1.1 billion.
India’s current leading operator struggled to find success in Africa, after acquiring the business from Kuwaiti operator Zain in 2010. The company since sold mobile towers in the region and reduced its market presence by selling off operations in Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso.