Thursday, 21 November 2013

Bharti Airtel May Sell Africa Tower Business

Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel may sell its $1.8 billion-valued Africa tower business, to reduce debt of about $9.69 billion.
Airtel which incurred most of its debt from the $10.7 billion acquisition of Zain Telecom’s Africa business in 2010 has received offers from Helios, ATC, Eaton and HIS to buy its telecoms tower business.
The offers received are for the complete tower portfolio as well as parts of the portfolio.
However, it is unclear whether prospective buyers will be able to buy out the whole arm or just part of it,” a source familiar with the development told India’s Business Standard.
It was earlier reported that Bharti Airtel, which has 15,000 towers in Africa is considering transferring the tower business to its Indian tower unit Bharti Infratel.
However, after announcing the company’s quarterly results last month, Bharti’s Group Chief Financial Officer, Sarvjit Singh Dhillon said that the company was not looking at hiving off its tower business in Africa into a separate company, and may look at the operating structure of the business at a later stage.
Sandip Ginodia
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