Airtel Africa is planning to make a formal announcement about the London listing this month and aims to start trading in June, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. It’s considering seeking an equity valuation of about $5 billion, they said.
The IPO could be one of the biggest this year in London, where lackluster domestic volumes are being boosted by emerging-market companies seeking a wider investor pool. Finablr, the currency-exchange firm controlled by an Abu Dhabi-based billionaire, starting taking orders last week for a share sale that could raise as much as $677 million. Middle Eastern payments processor Network International Holdings Plc raised 1.1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) last month in the largest London IPO this year.
Valuation and the listing date are still under discussion, and final details could change depending on investor demand and market sentiment, the people said. A representative for Bharti Airtel declined to comment.
Bharti Airtel, backed by billionaire Sunil Mittal, has spent heavily to defend its position in India against disruptive upstart Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. The firm’s Africa unit raised $1.25 billion last year from investors including Temasek Holdings Pte and SoftBank Group Corp., giving it an equity value of about $4.4 billion.
The business has operations in 14 African markets including Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana, according to Bharti Airtel’s latest annual report.
In other news...
South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.
On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.
And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.
However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.
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