Airtel Africa ready to list Kenya unit on NSE as licensing condition


Airtel Kenya Ltd headquarters located along Mombasa Road, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Airtel Africa is ready to list its Kenyan operations on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) if the government retains the condition as part of its licensing requirement, the company’s top executive has disclosed.

The disclosures comes amid fresh discussions with the regulators and the telco’s expansion plans to roll out a super-fast fifth-generation (5G) mobile broadband network next month as it takes on its dominant rival Safaricom.

“As part of our license obligation, there’s a requirement to list in Kenya. For the last couple of months, there’s been discussion around whether that condition is going to be changed or is going to stay. We still have been waiting for clarity from Kenya whether there’s still an obligation to list,” said Segun Ogunsanya, the Group CEO of Airtel Africa in a media transcript on its website.

“We are working on ways to comply with any lawful requirement of our licence. So, if we are obliged to list, we will list. But once again, there’s been some indication from Kenyan authorities that this may not be a requirement. But whatever requirement there is, we will meet it.”

The listing will see Kenyans trade shares in the second-largest telco in the country dominated by Safaricom.

Read: Airtel opens talks for sale of 30pc stake to Kenyans

Airtel is in the last mile of listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) as part of the country’s National Telecom Operator license.

Last year June, the Uganda Communications Commission issued Airtel Uganda an extension of the listing obligation from December 15, 2022 to December 16, 2023 on the condition that the prospectus is submitted to the capital markets authority for approval before June 30, 2023.

“Airtel Uganda is working towards the listing with advisers and is confident it will meet the required deadline.”

As part of Airtel’s expansion plans, the CEO said the company will raise its expenditure to $825 million in the coming year and about Sh5.6 billion ($40 million) on data centres in Mombasa and Nigeria.

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