Airtel Africa has signed an agreement under which The Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform of leading alternative investment firm TPG, will invest US$200M in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (“AMC BV”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airtel Africa plc (the “Transaction”).
AMC BV is currently the holding company for several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations and is now intended to own and operate the mobile money businesses across all of Airtel Africa’s fourteen operating countries.
The Transaction values Airtel Africa’s mobile money business at US$2.65B on a cash and debt-free basis.
The Rise Fund will hold a minority stake in AMC BV upon completion of the Transaction, with Airtel Africa continuing to hold the remaining majority stake.
The Transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including necessary regulatory filings and approvals, as necessary, and the inclusion of specified mobile money business assets and contracts into AMC BV.
The Transaction is the latest step in the Group’s pursuit of strategic asset monetization and investment opportunities, and it is the aim of Airtel Africa to explore the potential listing of the mobile money business within four years.
The Group is in discussions with other potential investors in relation to possible further minority investments into Airtel Money, up to a total of 25% of the issued share capital of AMC BV.
There can be no certainty that a transaction will be concluded or as to the final terms of any transactions. The proceeds from the Transaction will be used to reduce Group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.
Airtel Africa mobile money services Operating under the Airtel Money brand, Airtel Africa’s mobile money services is a leading digital mobile financial services platform catering to a large addressable market in Africa (characterised by limited access to formal financial institutions with limited banking infrastructure) and includes mobile wallet deposit and withdrawals, merchant and commercial payments, benefits transfers, loans and savings, virtual credit card and international money transfers.
Mobile money services are available across the Group’s 14 countries of operation, however in Nigeria the Group offers Airtel Money services through a partnership with a local bank and has applied for its own mobile banking licence.
It is the intention that all mobile money operations will be owned and operated by AMC BV. In our most recent reported results for Q3, the mobile money service segment (corresponding to all the businesses that are intended to be transferred to AMC BV) delivered a strong operational performance:
• Generated revenue of US$110M (US$440M annualised), and underlying EBITDA of US$54M (US$216M annualised) at a margin of 48.7%.
• Year on year revenue growth for the quarter was 41.1% in constant currency, largely driven by 29% growth in the customer base to 21.5 million, and 9.7% ARPU growth.