Bharti Overseas Private Limited has increased its voting rights in Airtel Africa to 12.58% after one of its subsidiaries, Indian Continent Investment Limited, bought an additional 53.5 million Airtel Africa shares valued at £57.2 million.
According to a corporate filing on the NGX website obtained by Nairametrics, the transaction took place on the London Stock Exchange.
Indian Continent Investment Limited is an entity closely associated with Shravin Bharti Mittal, the son of Sunil Bharti Mittal, the founder of Bharti Enterprises, which is Airtel Africa’s ultimate controlling entity.
Bharti Overseas Private Limited owns a 100% voting right in Bharti Global Limited, which in turn holds a 100% voting right in Indian Continent Investment Limited.
Hence, Bharti Overseas’ voting rights in Airtel Africa are held through indirect shareholding, as Bharti Global Limited holds 3.38% voting rights while Indian Continent Investment Limited holds 9.20% voting rights, summing up to 12.58%. Previously, Bharti Overseas Pvt. Ltd. held a voting right of 11.03%.
The group also announced a reduction in voting rights for one of its shareholders, Singapore Telecommunications Limited.
Singapore Telecomms Ltd. reduced its voting rights from 3.9406% to below 3%. Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) is the largest mobile network operator in Singapore.
Bharti Airtel Limited, which is controlled by both the Mittal Family and Singtel, holds a 56% stake in Airtel Africa. They are followed by Bharti Overseas Pvt. Ltd., another Mittal family enterprise, which now owns a 12.58% stake. About 25% of Airtel Africa’s shares are on free float across the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX).
For the first half of FY 2024, Airtel Africa’s financials have been quite turbulent, as the group recorded a pre-tax loss of $13 million, a year-on-year decline of 103.8% from the corresponding period in FY 2023. However, the loss is linked to the significant foreign exchange losses accrued due to currency devaluation across Africa, especially in Nigeria.
Segun Olusanya, the Group CEO, noted about the group’s half-year results,
“As reported in July 2023, our results for the first quarter were significantly impacted by the changes to the FX market in Nigeria, introduced by the Central Bank. While the changes are required for the long-term benefit of the Nigerian economy, the immediate impact of the naira devaluation continues to weigh on our reported financial performance in the period.”