Airtel is one of Africa’s biggest providers of fixed line and mobile telecoms services and is looking to expand its operations across the continent

Singtel and Softbank are among a group of 6 international companies who have agreed to invest in Airtel’s expansion in Africa by issuing a $1.25 primary equity issuance, according to press reports.

It is understood that Airtel will use the funds to reduce its levels of debt, currently sitting at around $5 billion, and expand its operations in Africa.

"Six leading global investors comprising Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel, SoftBank Group International and others have agreed to invest $1.25 billion through a primary equity issuance in the company at a post money equity value of approximately $4.4 billion," Airtel Africa said in a statement.

Indian owned, Airtel, already has significant operations across Africa, including the Congo, Kenya, Gabon, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda. As of the close of the last financial year, Airtel had 78 million customers spread across the continent.

Airtel’s MD and CEO for Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said that the fact that the company was able to draw financing from such a broad portfolio of international firms underscored the markets confidence in Airtel’s African operations.

"This primary equity issuance clearly underlines the confidence of leading global investors in Airtel Africa’s successful business strategy and its potential to sustain growth and profitability," he said.  

Also in the news:

Liquid Telecom closes Zambia buy out

Zain Sudan signs LTE deal

Bharti Airtel to refinance €1 billion debt