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Airtel set to sell stake in mobile money service


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Airtel set to sell stake in mobile money service


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Mr Prasanta Das Sarma, Airtel Kenya chief executive officer, during a past product promotion. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • London-listed Airtel Africa Plc is seeking to sell a minority stake in its mobile financial services platform Airtel Money in a bid to raise cash.
  • The multinational, which operates in 14 countries in Africa including Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, says the move is part of a strategy of selling some assets.

London-listed Airtel Africa Plc is seeking to sell a minority stake in its mobile financial services platform Airtel Money in a bid to raise cash.

The multinational, which operates in 14 countries in Africa including Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, says the move is part of a strategy of selling some assets.

“We are actively pursuing the sale of the remaining owned tower sites that sit across several of our operating countries and the group is in discussions with various potential investors in relation to possible minority investments into Airtel Money,” the firm says in a trading update.

“Discussions are ongoing between the parties and there can be no certainty that a transaction will be concluded or as to the final terms of any transaction.”

The company did not indicate the amount of cash it could raise from the proposed deal.

Airtel Money’s revenues in the 14 African markets stood at $291 million (Sh32 billion) in the nine months ended December.

This represented a 34.2 percent growth in constant currency terms from $228 million (Sh25.1 billion) a year earlier. Over the same period, the value of transactions on the platform rose to $33.4 billion (Sh3.6 trillion) from $23.3 billion (Sh2.5 trillion).

“Our mobile money customer base reached 21.5 million, up 29 percent over the previous period, with Airtel Money customers now representing 18 percent of our total customers, an increase of 2.5 percentage points,” the multinational said.

“Mobile money average revenue per user (ARPU) was up 5.1 percent to $1.7 (Sh187), driven by the increase in transaction values and a higher contribution from merchant payments, cash out, person-to-person transfer and recharge of mobile services through Airtel Money.”



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