Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom operator, has completed the acquisition of Zain Group’s mobile operations in 15 countries across Africa for a total enterprise valuation of $10.7 billion. With this acquisition, Bharti has becomes a major Indian MNC with operations in 18 countries across Asia and Africa with a customer base of over 180 million. Following this deal, over 6500 employees from Zain will be tranferred to Bharti.
The transaction is the largest ever cross-border deal in emerging markets and will result in combined revenues of over $12.4 billion and EBITDA of over $4.7 billion, based on the last audited results. Bharti is now among the five largest mobile operators in the world. Bharti’s acquisition of Zain’s African mobile services operations covers 15 countries with a total customer base of over 42 million. The total population base covered is over 450 million with telecom penetration of approximately 32%. Zain is the market leader in 10 of the 15 countries and second in 4 countries.
Commenting on the deal, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and managing director, Bharti Airtel, said, “We are delighted at the closure of this transformational deal for India and Bharti. We would like to express our deep gratitude and thank the governments of all the fifteen countries as well as the government of India for their overwhelming support to this landmark event. This will further strengthen the historic Indo-Africa economic and social ties and provide a big boost to South-South cooperation."
“This sale crystallises the significant value we have created for our shareholders over the last five years. The board of directors will consider the best use of the remaining proceeds to further enhance value for all stakeholders," added Asaad Al Banwan, chairman, board of directors, Zain.
The countries in which Bharti has acquired the operations are - Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
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