Posts | India’s Airtel Sells More African Assets
This story, about Bharti Airtel Ltd selling African assets is about as South-South as you are going to get. Bharti is selling those assets to reduce its debt load — a debt load it picked up when it bought the African assets of Kuwait’s Zain, another major emerging markets telco and South-South mobile connector. The story is in Live Mint India
New Delhi: Bharti Airtel Ltd, the world’s fourth largest telecom service provider by revenue and subscribers, has raised $400 million more from the sale of telecom towers in Africa, taking to $1.7 billion the proceeds from an effort to monetize its assets in the continent to reduce debt, mimicking a strategy it has adopted successfully in its home market.
India’s largest phone company will lease back the towers from the buyers, which make up 60% of the total towers the company owns in Africa, as part of the so-called asset-light approach.
Proceeds of the deals will help reduce the company’s debt, which stood at $10.7 billion at the end of June. The company took on most of the debt when it bought the Africa assets of Kuwait-based Zain in 2010 for almost $10 billion, as well as from spending on new spectrum acquisition in India and technology deployment.