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Airtel Malawi explains exclusion of mobile service from IPO

By , ITWeb
Malawi , 05 Feb 2020

Airtel Malawi explains exclusion of mobile service from IPO

Airtel Malawi has confirmed its mobile money service is not included in the Initial Public Offer (IPO) which closed on 31 January 2020 because it is a different entity.

The public offer for Malawi's largest mobile phone services provider opened on 27 December 2019.

Managing Director Charles Kamoto explained that the company has two affiliates - Airtel Mobile Commerce Limited (Airtel Money), which was incorporated on 11 June 2009, as well as Malawi Towers Limited, incorporated on 15 December 2010.

"We have seen a number of people say Airtel Mobile is an empty shell, and that there has been some asset stripping," said Kamoto.

He noted that these affiliates are separately registered entities, having been registered as such from the onset, and cannot be part of the offer.

"This offer is to buy a stake in Malawi's leading telecommunications company, a profitable business that has invested significantly in new network coverage to ensure that it is able to benefit from the changing ICT landscape in Malawi," Kamoto added.

He said that as the company pursues a light asset model strategy, the focus is to invest in active infrastructure and divest from passive infrastructure which allowed them to sell 438 towers to Malawi Towers in 2014 and remain with 90 in 2019.

"The performance of the GSM business, which we operate in, is very promising with an outlook broadly in line with the forecasts as they continue to witness growth in customers, revenues and profitability," said Kamoto.

Reserve Bank Governor Dalitso Kabambe said the listing of Airtel Malawi falls in line with Section 35 of the Communications Act 2016 which stipulates that an Electronic Communications Licensee shall maintain a local shareholding of at least 20%

"The spirit in law is to accord many Malawians become part owners or shareholders of Telecomm companies in the country and we hope that many Malawians will indeed buy shares in this company," said Kabambe.

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