SINGAPORE: Singtel has entered into an agreement with its regional associate Bharti Airtel (Airtel) to invest US$250 million in Airtel Africa, the second largest telecom operator in Africa.
In a press release on Wednesday (Oct 24), Singtel said it currently holds a 39.5 per cent effective stake in Airtel.
“Our investment into Airtel Africa reflects our confidence in the long-term growth potential of Africa with its young and growing population. For many of Airtel Africa's customers, the mobile phone is the key enabler for digital and financial inclusion," said Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group.
"As Airtel continues to execute on its transformation strategy to become a leader in data and mobile money in Africa, we believe it is in a strong position to benefit from increasing smartphone penetration and mobile money adoption.”
With a customer base of 91 million and operations in 14 countries, Airtel Africa also has 11.8 million subscribers to its mobile wallet service.
Singtel's investment forms part of the US$1.25 billion that Airtel has secured from global investors, including Temasek, Warburg Pincus and Softbank Group International, through a primary equity issuance in Airtel Africa, at a post money equity value of US$4.4 billion. The proceeds will be used to reduce Airtel Africa’s existing debt and grow its business ahead of an intended Initial Public Offering.