Airtel does not plan to exit Africa; sale of four units expected to take place in 3Q15

22 Jul 2015

Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel does not plan to exit Africa, despite ongoing discussions regarding the sale of four of its African units to France’s Orange Group, the Economic Times reports. The Indian company is cited as saying: ‘We remain fully committed to our African operations and will continue to invest in [the unit’s] growth, and building a profitable business. [We] have no plans to exit Africa.’ Indeed, Bharti Airtel is said to be exploring additional in-country acquisitions in selected markets, following mergers in the likes of Kenya and Uganda.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate yesterday, Bharti Airtel has entered into exclusive talks with Orange Group regarding the sale of its mobile operations in Chad, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso.

According to the Economic Times, talks are at ‘an advanced stage’, and Bharti Airtel’s board may take up the proposal to sell the businesses at a meeting scheduled for 4 August. Discussions have valued the four units at between USD1 billion and USD1.5 billion, with a deal expected to be inked by the end of 3Q15. The transaction could then close in mid-2016, the report adds.

Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Rep., Sierra Leone, Bharti Airtel, Orange Group