|Predecessor||Zain Africa B.V.|
|Founded||8 June 2010(7 years)|
|Headquarters||Keizersgracht 62-64, |
1015 CS Amsterdam,
|Parent||Bharti Airtel Limited|
Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V., doing business as Airtel Africa, is a holding company and a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel. Through its subsidiaries, Airtel Africa provides telecommunication services in 15 African countries.
Nigeria is Airtel's most profitable market, due to its cheap data plans in the country, followed by Ghana. As of March 2017, Airtel has 78 million subscribers in the continent.
MTN Group merger negotiations
In May 2008, it emerged that Airtel was exploring the possibility of buying the MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company with operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The Financial Times reported that Bharti was considering offering US$45 billion for a 100% stake in MTN, which would be the largest overseas acquisition ever by an Indian firm. However, both sides emphasised the tentative nature of the talks. The Economist magazine noted, "If anything, Bharti would be marrying up", as MTN had more subscribers, higher revenues and broader geographic coverage. However, the talks fell apart as MTN Group tried to reverse the negotiations by making Bharti almost a subsidiary of the new company.
In May 2009, Airtel confirmed that it was again in talks with MTN and both companies agreed to discuss the potential transaction exclusively by 31 July 2009. Airtel said "Bharti Airtel Ltd is pleased to announce that it has renewed its effort for a significant partnership with MTN Group". The exclusivity period was extended twice up to 30 September 2009. Talks eventually ended without agreement.
Zain Africa acquisition
In Jun 2010, Bharti struck a deal to buy Zain's mobile operations in 15 African countries for $8.97 billion, in India's second biggest overseas acquisition after Tata Steel's US$13 billion buy of Corus in 2007. Bharti Airtel completed the acquisition of on 8 June 2010, making Airtel the world's fifth largest wireless carrier by subscriber base. Airtel reported that its revenues for the fourth quarter of 2010 grew by 53% to $3.2 billion compared to the previous year. The newly acquired Africa division contributed $911 million to the total. However, net profits dropped by 41% from $470 million in 2009 to $291 million 2010 due to a $188 million increase in radio spectrum charges in India and an increase of $106 million in debt interest.
On 18 November 2010, Airtel rebranded itself in India in the first phase of a global rebranding strategy. The company unveiled a new logo with 'airtel' written in lower case. Designed by London-based brand agency, The Brand Union, the new logo is the letter 'a' in lowercase, with 'airtel' written in lowercase under the logo. On 23 November 2010, Airtel's Africa operations were rebranded to 'airtel'.
Warid Uganda acquisition
Airtel acquired the Uganda business of Warid in 2013.
Telecom Seychelles acquisition
On 11 August 2010, Bharti Airtel announced that it would acquire 100% stake in Telecom Seychelles for US$62 million taking its global presence to 19 countries. Telecom Seychelles began operations in 1998 and operates 3G, Fixed Line, ship to shore services satellite telephony, among value added services like VSAT and Gateways for International Traffic across the Seychelles under the Airtel brand. The company has over 57% share of the mobile market of Seychelles. Airtel announced plans to invest US$10 million in its fixed and mobile telecoms network in the Seychelles over three years, whilst also participating in the Seychelles East Africa submarine cable (SEAS) project. The US$34 million SEAS project is aimed at improving the Seychelles' global connectivity by building a 2,000 km undersea high-speed link to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Sale to Orange
Airtel and French telecom company Orange S.A. signed an agreement in July 2015 for the sale of the former's operations in Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Chad and Congo-Brazzaville to the latter. In January 2016, Airtel announced that it had entered an agreement to sell its operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone to Orange. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but analysts estimated it to be US$800–900 million. The agreement on the sale of operation in Chad and Congo-Brazzaville lapsed. Orange assumed control of operations in Burkina Faso in June 2016 and Sierra Leone in July 2016.
Tigo Ghana merger
On 4 March 2017, Airtel and Millicom International Cellular agreed to merge their operations in Ghana (Airtel Ghana Ltd and Tigo Ghana Ltd) to create the country's second largest mobile operator. Both companies will hold an equal stake in the merged entity.
Countries of operations
Airtel operates in the following countries in Africa:
|Chad||Airtel Chad||Airtel Chad is the #1 operator with 69% market share.|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Airtel DRC||Airtel is the market leader with almost 7 million customers at the end of June 2012.|
|Gabon||Airtel Gabon||Airtel Gabon has 829,000 customers and its market share stood at 61%.|
|Ghana||Airtel Ghana||The Mobile Voice subscriber base in Ghana grew from 29,815,213 in September 2014 to 29,990,581 at the end of October 2014. The subscriber base of Airtel decreased from the September figure of 3,790,636 September 2014 to end October 2014 at 3,742,970|
|Kenya||Airtel Kenya||Airtel Kenya is the second largest operator and has about 9 million customers.|
|Madagascar||Airtel Madagascar||Airtel holds second place in the mobile telecom market in Madagascar, has a 39% market share and over 1.4 million customers.|
|Malawi||Airtel Malawi||Airtel Malawi is the market leader with a market share of 72%.|
|Niger||Airtel Niger||Airtel Niger is the market leader with a 68% market share.|
|Nigeria||Airtel Nigeria||Airtel is the 3rd largest operator with 33,376,556 subscribers, behind Globacom (37,268,483) and MTN Nigeria (61,280,293) as of Nov 2016.|
|Republic of the Congo||Airtel Congo B||Airtel Congo is the market leader with a 55% market share.|
|Rwanda||Airtel Rwanda||Airtel launched services in Rwanda on 30 March 2012.|
|Seychelles||Airtel Seychelles||Airtel is the leading comprehensive telecommunications services providers with over 55% market share of mobile market in Seychelles.|
|Tanzania||Airtel Tanzania||Airtel Tanzania is the market leader with a 30% market share.|
|Uganda||Airtel Uganda||Airtel Uganda stands as the #2 operator with a market share of 38%.|
One Network is a mobile phone network that allows Airtel customers to use the service in a number of countries at the same price as their home network. Customers can place outgoing calls at the same rate as their local network, and incoming calls are free. As of 2014[update], the service is available in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Ghana, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
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