Bharti Airtel to raise around Rs 120 billion through the issue of fresh shares (India)

Bharti Airtel plans to raise Rs 120 billion-Rs 150 billion through the issue of fresh shares during fiscal 2019 as part of its strategy to repay debt and reduce financing costs, boost cash flows and meet capital expenditure. Recently, Bharti Airtel had an­n­ounced that Airtel Africa Limited, its UK-incorporated subsidiary, intends to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in mid-2019 on an international stock ex­ch­ange. The IPO aims to raise $1.25 billion-$1.5 billion. Another round of fun­d­raising will be done through equity dilution in Bharti Infratel.

VIL transfers fibre network assets to subsidiary

Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) has transferred its fibre network assets to a wholly ow­­ned subsidiary with the aim of holding an early sale of the latter. This will help VIL raise additional cash for taking on competition from other players in the market. Acc­o­rding to the company, a po­tential sale wo­uld help release capital for its core mo­bility business and reduce fu­ture capex investments.

Bharti Airtel International pre-pays debt of over $995 million

Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V., a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has prepaid a debt of over $995 million as part of a recently concluded cash purchase of its bonds. Earlier, in November, Bharti Airtel had made a tender offer for buying back debt worth $1.5 billion. Investors tendered bonds worth over $995 million. Airtel will utilise these proceeds to reduce its debt.

SoftBank Group secures approval for a $21.04 billion IPO of its telecom business unit (Japan)

Japan’s SoftBank Group has secured approval to launch a $21.04 billion (JPY 2.4 trillion) IPO of its domestic telecom business unit and list the shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The funds raised through the IPO will be used to repay debt and in­vest in new projects and technologies. Soft­Bank seeks to sell 1.6 billion shares at a tentative price of JPY 1,500 each. The parent group will retain around two-third stake in the unit. Over 80 per cent of the shares will be offered to domestic retail investors.

Telkom Kenya secures $40 million loan for network expansion (Kenya)

Telkom Kenya has signed a $40 million loan agreement with the European Inves­tment Bank to fund the expansion of its 3G and 4G networks across the country. Besi­des improving mobile connectivity, Telkom will invest in expanding its fibre-to-the-building  network. The fo­cus will be on  in­­ve­s­tments in access, core, transmission and IT components.

PLDT acquires stake in software development company (Philippines)

PLDT’s board has approved the acquisition of a 45.73 per cent stake in software development company Multisys Tech­n­o­lo­gies for PHP 2.15 billion. The transaction, which is expected to be completed by end-2018, will be done thr­ough  PLDT Group’s wholly owned subsidiary, PLDT Global Investments Hol­dings. The investment will position PLDT as a telecom and digital services provider with core software development capabilities. Multisys’ software platforms offer applications such as payment gateways, data centre set-up and connectivity, big data handling and analytics, and cybersecurity.

Tigo prepares to launch its IPO (Tanzania)

Millicom Tanzania (Tigo) is finalising plans to hold its IPO. The company has completed its legal conversion from a private limited company to a public limited company, called MIC Tanzania Plc. Fu­r­ther, the country’s Capital Markets and Securities Authority is at the final stages of processing Tigo’s IPO prospectus. In June 2016, the government had made it mandatory for telecom operators to float 25 per cent of their shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), but Tigo’s listing process kept getting delayed amidst a shareholder dispute, which was resolved in August 2018.

Vodacom Group receives approval to increase stake in Tanzanian unit

South Africa-based Vodacom Group has re­­ceived approval from the shareholders of Vodacom Tanzania to increase its stake in the latter by acquiring shares from Mir­a­mbo Holdings. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will increase the Vo­dacom Group’s total direct and indirect sh­a­re­holding in the Tanzanian mobile company to around 75 per cent. In August 2017, Vodacom Tanzania had completed lis­­ting its shares on the DSE, wherein it had put 560 million shares on offer, amounting to a 25 per cent stake, raising $206.8 million.

Teleology Holdings’ takeover of 9mobile gets the green signal (Nigeria)

The Nigerian Communications Comm­is­sion (NCC) has given the go-ahead for the acquisition of 9mobile by Teleology Hol­dings. A new board of directors has been app­­ointed to run the debt-ridden operator. Earlier, in February 2018, Gibraltar-registered Teleology emerged as the preferred bi­dder for 9mobile. The bid process was ar­r­anged by Barclays Africa, after a debt de­fault forced 9mobile’s lenders to step in.