Airtel seeks extension of Shs440b loan repayment

Monday July 8 2019

Airtel Africa has, however, raised $750m

Airtel Africa has, however, raised $750m (Shs2.7 trillion) in its initial public offering at the London Stock Exchange, which the telecom said, will be instrumental in implementing some of its strategies as well as paying off debts. File photo 

By Christine Kasemiire

Kampala. Airtel sought an extension for payment of a $119m (Shs440b) loan facility that had been due this year.
The facility obtained from Absa Bank, according to the Airtel Africa prospectus detailing some of its disclosures, the company said had arranged to extend repayment from 2019 to 2021.
“In June 2019, Airtel Uganda arranged for the extension of two existing committed bank facilities with Absa, totalling $119m, from October and December 2019 to January 2021,” the prospectus reads in part.

The India based telecom and Airtel Uganda’s holding company, Bharti Airtel Group has grappled with mounting credit prompting it to list on the London Stock Exchange and planned listing on the Nigeria Stock Exchange to mobilise capital.
According to the prospectus, the group reduced its borrowings and lease liabilities from $7.9b (Shs29.2 trillion) in 2018 to $4.8b (Shs17.7 trillion) as at March 2019.

The group, the prospectus notes, is required to pay $1.1b (Shs4 trillion) in 2019, $88m (Shs325b) between one and two years and $2.3b (Shs8.5 trillion) between two and five years.
Airtel Africa has, however, raised $750m (Shs2.7 trillion) in its initial public offering at the London Stock Exchange, which the telecom said, will be instrumental in implementing some of its strategies as well as paying off debts.

IPO performance
Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chairman Airtel Africa, in a statement last week said the IPO had attracted a mix of new institutional and existing Airtel Africa investors, who acquired 25 per cent stake at 80 pence per share.
“The strong support we have received from institutional investors demonstrates the attractive investment proposition Airtel Africa offers the market,” he said.

Airtel Africa also plans to engage in a secondary listing on the Nigeria Stock Exchange. However, the company experienced a 16 per cent drop in share price to 77 pence, only a day after listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Mr William Nyakatura, a financial advisor at Kinsman Advisory, said the drop was a common practice, noting the price would soon stabilise.

Airtel Africa performance

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Increased revenues. Airtel Africa, however, recorded a $412m (Shs1.5 trillion) net income for the year ended 2018/19 from $138m (Shs510b) loss in 2017/18.
The group’s revenues also increased to $3b (Shs11 trillion) for the year ended March 2019 compared to $2.9b (Shs10 trillion) the previous year.
While Nigeria, Airtel Africa’s largest market contributed 36 per cent of the group’s revenues in the period under review, Uganda contribute 10 per cent - $300m (Shs1.1 trillion).

DRC, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya contributed 10 per cent, 9 per cent, 7 per cent, 7 per cent and 6 per cent.
Nigeria, Uganda, DRC, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya also contributed 41 per cent, 14 per cent, 10 per cent, 7 per cent, 4 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively to group underlying Earnings Before Taxes, Interest, Depreciation and Amortization (Ebitda) rallied at $1.3b (Shs4.8 trillion) as of March 2019.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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