Airtel Plans To Sell Part of Mobile Money Business
Airtel Africa revealed earlier in the week that it would be selling a minority stake in its mobile money service, Airtel Money, to raise cash.
Airtel operates in 14 African countries, and it says this move is part of its plan to sell some of its assets, i.e., 4.500 cell towers across five countries, to get rid of a $3.5 billion debt. The company intends to sell towers in Tanzania, Madagascar, Gabon, Malawi, and Chad. According to the CEO, Airtel Africa used proceeds earned from the listing in London and Nigeria last year to reduce the debt from $7.7 billion to $3.5 billion.
“We are actively pursuing the sale of the remaining owned tower sites that sit across several of our operating countries, and the group is in discussions with various potential investors concerning possible minority investments into Airtel Money,” read a statement from Airtel.
Last year, Airtel collected close to USD 30 Million across all the 14 African markets, accounting for a 34.2% growth from the previous year. Over the same period, the value of transactions on the platform rose to $33.4 billion from $23.3 billion.
“Our mobile money customer base reached 21.5 million, up 29% over the previous period, with Airtel Money customers now representing 18% of our total customers, an increase of 2.5 percentage points,” the statement continued.
“Mobile money average revenue per user (ARPU) was up 5.1% to $1.7 (Sh187), driven by the increase in transaction values and a higher contribution from merchant payments, cash out, person-to-person transfer and recharge of mobile services through Airtel Money.”