Airtel Sells Mobile Money Unit for KSh 64.2 Billion

The logo of telecommunications company Airtel is pictured on an umbrella and chairs set up by vendors in Abuja, Nigeria July 9, 2019. PHOTO/REUTERS

Airtel Africa Plc has sold out 25.77 percent stake in its local mobile money business  for KSh 64.2 billion.

The move is part of a continent-wide deal to raise $550 million from four institutional investors.

Airtel Money Kenya Limited fell from 100 percent a year ago to 74.23 percent in the year ended March.

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During the review period, the company also declared a similar decline in ownership in Airtel Mobile Commerce (Kenya) Limited.

In markets such as Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia, similar shifts in mobile money ownership were also observed.

In its recent annual report, Airtel Africa revealed the sale of its subsidiaries’ shares, as the prospect of a cashless Africa prompts a race for control of its payment platforms.

The record-breaking deal values Airtel Money at KSh 250 billion.

In 2020, Airtel Money customers grew by 29.6% over six months, to 20.1 million, and now represent about 17.3% of its total customer base.

Mobile money accounts for 10% of the group’s revenue. 

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Airtel Kenya Ltd, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa (owned by Bharti Airtel), is the second largest telecommunications services provider in Kenya after Safaricom PLC.

It has an estimated 16.2 million subscribers of the total 59.8 million subscribers in the Kenyan market equivalent to 27.2% market share.

Airtel market share has been rising steadily over the last few years.

Airtel Kenya previously operated as Kencell, Celtel, and Zain before rebranding to Airtel in November 2010.

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