Airtel Uganda, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa operating in 14 African countries, has announced its intention to go public on the Uganda Securities Exchange. As per Airtel Africa's exchange filing, the telecom and mobile money service provider aims to float 8 billion ordinary shares, equivalent to 20 percent of its stake, on the Main Investment Market Segment.
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Regulatory Compliance and Market Entry
The move follows the regulatory requirement for Airtel Uganda to list at least 20 percent of its shares, as stipulated by Uganda's National Telecom Operator (NTO) license. Airtel was initially required to list its shares by December last year but was granted a twelve-month extension. The Uganda Communications Commission has set a December 16, 2023 deadline for compliance, said Airtel Africa.
The IPO will involve the sale of ordinary shares by Bharti Airtel Uganda, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa. After covering expenses, the offering's net proceeds will accrue to Bharti Airtel Uganda Holdings.
Local Ownership - Ugandan Investors
Airtel Africa said the primary objective of the IPO is to foster local ownership of Airtel Uganda and contribute to Uganda's capital market growth. Special preference will be given to Ugandan investors, with the shares available through Airtel Money's platform and traditional channels, increasing retail participation.
Key appointments have been made to facilitate the process, including Absa Bank Uganda as the Lead Transaction Advisor, Crested Capital as the Lead Sponsoring Broker, Katende Ssempebwa and Company Advocates as the Legal Advisor, and EY as the Reporting Accountant, according to the exchange filing.
Pending approval of the prospectus by the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda, the IPO marks a significant step toward Airtel Uganda's compliance with regulatory requirements and its commitment to enhancing local participation in its ownership.