Indian telecoms giant Bharti Airtel has revealed that is aiming to see a combined turnover from its African units of around USD5 billion by May 2013, the Indian Economic Times reports. Commenting on the company’s expectations for the coming years, Bharti Airtel CEO (International) Manoj Kohli noted: ‘We are extremely satisfied with our African acquisition … there was an expectation I had given that by May 2013, we will achieve USD5 billion revenue and USD2 billion EBITDA and we are on track for that target.’
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in March 2010 Bharti announced that it had entered into a legally binding agreement for the acquisition of the African assets of Kuwait-based Zain Group in a deal valued at USD10.7 billion. Under the terms of the deal Airtel agreed to make a cash payment of USD9 billion, of which USD8.3 billion would be paid on closing of the deal, with the remaining USD700 million becoming due one year after completion. Further, Airtel said it would assume USD1.7 billion of consolidated debt obligations as part of the deal. The acquisition was eventually finalised in June 2010, with Airtel taking over Zain’s operations in 15 countries, those being: Burkina Faso, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. On the back of the deal’s completion Airtel claimed that it had become the world’s fifth largest mobile group, with full commercial wireless operations in 19 countries – the 15 newly-acquired African units alongside India and its other existing subsidiaries in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Seychelles.