Serrari Group

Airtel Uganda, a subsidiary of mobile operator Airtel Africa, has announced its plans to join the ranks of publicly listed companies by making its debut on the Ugandan Securities Exchange (USE). Following in the footsteps of MTN Uganda, the country’s largest telecommunications provider, which recently marked its first year as a publicly traded entity, Airtel Uganda aims to offer approximately 8 billion shares, equivalent to a 20% stake, as part of its forthcoming initial public offering (IPO).

This move is anticipated to significantly enhance local ownership of Airtel Uganda Ltd, prioritizing Ugandan investors and contributing to the burgeoning development of Uganda’s capital markets, according to statements from Airtel Africa.

Pending approval from the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda, the IPO shares will be made available to potential investors through conventional avenues and the innovative Airtel Money platform, a strategic step aimed at broadening retail participation in the investment opportunity. 

Absa Bank Uganda has been selected as the lead transaction advisor for this landmark process, which is ambitiously targeted to conclude by year-end. This endeavor aligns with the Ugandan government’s directive from 2019 that mandates all telecom operators functioning within the nation to list a minimum of 20% of their shares on the USE within two years of obtaining their license. The government’s aim behind this initiative is to foster local ownership, consequently bolstering the national economy and preventing repatriation of capital to each telecom’s country of origin.

Previously expected to debut on the USE by the close of last year, Airtel Uganda was granted an extension by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), citing unfavorable economic conditions as the reason for the delay. This extension underscores the flexibility necessary to adapt to dynamic market conditions.

Uganda’s approach to encouraging local participation in capital markets is increasingly echoed across the African continent, with nations like Malawi, Ghana, Tanzania, and Nigeria similarly taking steps to invigorate their domestic economies and expand the scope of their capital markets. As Airtel Uganda prepares to make its historic entry into the realm of publicly traded companies, all eyes are on how this development will reshape the telecommunications and investment landscape in the region.

August 9, 2023
Delino Gayweh
Serrari Financial Analyst

photo source Google

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