The company follow in the footsteps of MTN Uganda, the country’s largest telco, which recently celebrated its first anniversary as a publicly listed company
Mobile operator Airtel Africa has announced that its Ugandan subsidiary, Airtel Uganda, will soon be floated on Ugandan Securities Exchange (USE) exchange.
The firm plans to sell a 20% stake – roughly 8 billion shares – as part of its initial public offering (IPO).
“The offer is expected to result in meaningful local ownership of Airtel Uganda Ltd, with preference to be given to Ugandan investors, and to contribute to the development of the capital markets in Uganda,” said Airtel Africa.
If the move gets approval from the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda, the shares will be offered to investors both via traditional channels and through the Airtel Money platform, with the aim of increasing retail participation.
The firm have chosen Absa Bank Uganda as its lead transaction advisor for the process, which it hopes will be completed by the end of the year.
In 2019 the Ugandan government mandated that all telecom companies operating in the country must list at least 20% of their shares on the USE within two years of the issuing of a license, with the aim of to increasing local ownership and boost the national economy.
The government claimed that the move would ensure that the capital would therefore be kept within the country and not be taken back to each telco’s country of origin.
Airtel Uganda were expected to list on the USE by December last year, but the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) allowed the company to delay the listing, as they cited they were not ready due to unfavourable economic conditions.
Uganda is not alone in its thinking, with other African countries such as Malawi, Ghana, Tanzania, and Nigeria taking similar action.
How is the African telecommunications market evolving in 2023? Join the operators in discussion at this year’s Total Telecom Congress live from Amsterdam.