Airtel Kenya has hinted at plans to list at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, The Star reported. Airtel would become the second telecommunication firm on the bourse after Safaricom, which is currently the largest company by market capitalisation on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, valued at KES 1.15 trillion on 17 August.
In early August, Singapore Telecommunications told BloombergQuint that Bharti Airtel was planning an initial public offering of its profitable African businesses in the next year. Singapore Telecommunications owns 48.9 percent of Bharti Airtel. The Indian company has not disclosed what size stake it plans to sell or when but it cannot offload more than 49 percent if it wants to retain control of its subsidiary.
The mobile service provider is present in fifteen African countries and ranks among the top three players in all the markets. According to Singtel, the share sale will give flexibility to Airtel’s balance sheet. Airtel’s market share in Kenya has risen by 3.4 percent and gained about 2.4 million new subscribers in the last year, according to data from the Communications Authority.
CA figures released last month show that Airtel raised its market share 2.5 percent of the market share to 19.7 percent. Currently, Safaricom controls 67 percent of the market, with about 29.5 million subscriptions. Airtel is second with 19.7 percent or 8.7 million subscribers while Telkom takes position three with 8.6 percent or 3.8 million subscriptions.