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Airtel plans Uganda’s biggest IPO at $200 million

Telecom firm plans to sell 20% stake in the share sale that opens on Wednesday

Airtel plans Uganda’s biggest IPO at $200 million
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Airtel Uganda is planning to launch the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in the central African country by selling a 20% stake to raise about $200 million, the telecom company said on Tuesday.

Airtel Uganda is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Ltd.

The company plans to sell 8 billion shares in the IPO that opens on Wednesday and closes on 13 October, Airtel Uganda managing director Manoj Murali said.

The outcome of the IPO will be known on October 30, and the shares will be listed on October 31, according to the prospectus. The share sale will help “establish a source of future capital to support its extensive growth strategy”, the prospectus said.

For the year ended December, Airtel Uganda reported a revenue of $430 million, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) coming in at $240 million. Ebitda is a measure of profitability.

Airtel Uganda began offering mobile telecommunications services in the country in 1995 and currently has a subscriber share of about 47%, or 13.8 million active subscribers, Murali said.

In October 2019, Uganda had set a two-year deadline for telecom firms operating in the country to list up to 20% of their shares on the local exchanges in a bid to boost local ownership of companies.

MTN Uganda went public first in 2021 in an IPO that drew local and regional investors, including Kenyan financial institutions.

In 2022, Airtel Africa, Airtel Uganda’s parent, sought a one-year extension to comply with the regulatory requirements. The extended deadline was due December 16 this year.

The telco announced Absa Bank Uganda Ltd as the lead transaction advisor and Crested Capital as the lead sponsoring broker. Katende Ssempebwa and Co. Advocates will serve as the legal advisor, and consultancy EY will act as the reporting accountant, the company said.

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