Singtel Group subsidiary Singapore Telecom International, which provides technical and management consultancy services in the field of telecommunications, has sold a 1.6% stake in Airtel Africa for SGD150 million (USD110.6 million) as part of its wider capital recycling strategy. The realised gain on divestment of approximately USD34 million will be recorded in Singtel Group’s retained earnings in the balance sheet. Following this transaction, it will continue to hold a 21.7% effective stake in Airtel Africa, comprising a 17.8% indirect stake through its regional associate Airtel and a 3.9% direct stake.
Commenting on the transaction, Singtel Group CFO Arthur Lang said: ‘We are pleased with the strong interest in the placement. This monetisation underscores our approach to actively pursue asset recycling opportunities and crystallise value from our assets to fund our new growth engines. It will also enhance the liquidity of Airtel Africa shares in the market and allow for more broad-based institutional investor participation.’
The Singtel official reiterated the group’s commitment to Africa in the long term and noted that Airtel Africa ‘serves a young demographic in a fast-growing market and is well positioned to benefit from rapid smartphone and mobile money adoption with the rise of the continent’s digital economy’.
Airtel Africa, Africa’s second largest telecom operator, with a combined mobile subscription base of more than 125 million across 14 countries, offers an integrated suite of telecommunications solutions, including mobile voice, data and mobile money services.