The African unit of Bharti Airtel has bagged a new deal with Qatar Holding LLC, an affiliate of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), to sell its 7.5% stake of the mobile unit for around $200 million. The development comes under the fundraising activities carried out by Bharti Airtel to reduce the financial burden and invest in the network. As reported by ET Telecom, the inclusion of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund will happen through Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), which is the primary holding entity for several mobile money operations of Airtel Africa. The Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV) will eventually own and operate such mobile money entities across 14 operating countries of Airtel Africa once the inclusion process is finished.
Airtel Africa has Signed Deals With Mastercard and TPG
Airtel Africa has been signing new deals extensively. Some time back, the entity sold a nearly 3.75% stake in its mobile unit to renowned payment processor MasterCard Inc for $100 million. Not only this, but Airtel also bagged a deal of $200 million from the US private equity firm TPG by selling a 7.5% stake in the mobile money business. Airtel Africa commented on the new deal and stated that QIA would hold a minority stake in AMC BV once the transition is finished, with Airtel Africa as the majority stakeholder. Also, the transaction proceeds will be used to reduce the debt and help the telco invest in network and sales infrastructure.
Airtel Africa and QIA Deal Will Close in Two Stages
The deal between Airtel Africa and QIA will happen in two stages. The first $150 million will be invested once the transfer of sufficient mobile money operations and contracts into AMC BV will be finished. The second lot of $50 million will be invested upon further transfers. The entire investment will happen through a secondary purchase of shares available in the AMC BV from Airtel Africa. It is expected that the first phase of the deal will commence in August. Once the deal is completely finished, Airtel will be able to expand 4G operations and pay off Rs 43,980 crore in the AGR dues to the government.