- Airtel Africa to Raise $200m From QIA
Airtel Africa will raise $200 million( Rs 1,420 crore) from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) through an issue of primary shares, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
The funds will be used to reduce the Africa unit’s debt, thereby also strengthening Bharti Airtel’s consolidated books. It will help the UK-based holding company of Airtel’s Africa operations cut its net debt to roughly $3.5 billion, the mobile phone operator counted among the world’s top three by subscribers said.
“We are excited to welcome Qatar Investment Authority as a longterm strategic equity partner … This transaction will not involve any sale of shares by existing shareholders,” said Airtel Africa, which operates in 15 countries on the continent. QIA said it looks forward to “supporting Airtel’s vision in building a world class business in the African continent,” it said.
In November, Airtel Africa had raised $1.25 billion ( about Rs 9,200 crore) through a placement of shares to six global investors, including Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel and SoftBank Group International, in the runup to an Airtel Africa IPO likely around June this year, through which the telco plans to garner an additional $1.5-1.6 billion.
The follow-up fundraise is estimated to dilute Airtel’s stake in its Africa unit to 67.24 per cent from roughly 71.6 per cent, said a senior sector analyst who did not wish to be named.
Bharti Airtel — facing severe pressure on revenue and profitability at home in India owing to intense competition triggered by the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm — is trying to build a war chest to fund its 4G network expansion across the country.
It has been selling stakes in tower unit Bharti Infratel, and plans to sell another 32 per cent — valued at close to Rs 15,500 crore —in that firm. Airtel is also planning a Rs 15,000-crore rights issue. Bharti Airtel’s net debt was at Rs 113,204 crore at September-end. Its shares closed 1.22 per cent lower on BSE at Rs 303.35.
The latest developments come at a time when the Sunil Mittalled telco’s Africa business has continued to put on a robust show in the September quarter, with Africa net income (before exceptional items) rising to Rs 232.3 crore from a net loss of Rs 207.9 crore a year back. Total revenue of Airtel Africa rose nearly 13 per cent to Rs 5,647.2 crore.
Airtel Africa is the second largest telco in the continent with customer base of more than 94 million. It is one of the top two operators in most of its 14 markets. In November, Airtel Africa had also constituted a board of directors that includes representatives from Airtel and the global investors.
The combined strength of the board is expected to bring a wealth of industry and governance experience to further drive Airtel’s Africa operations.
Airtel Africa has essentially seen a turnaround of its business in recent years, completing its first full year of profitability in March, after continuously losing money in previous years marking a turnaround from previous years when losses mounted every quarter, dragging down consolidated numbers and casting doubt on Bharti’s strategy of expanding into the continent back in 2010.
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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