Airtel Africa gets extra funding for its mobile money business

Airtel Africa has said that three investors, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), TPG, a U.S. private equity firm, and Mastercard have increased their investments in Airtel Money to $500 million.

The telecommunications giant made the disclosure in a notice signed by the group company secretary, Simon O’Hara, posted by the Nigerian Exchange Limited and seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, had on Monday announced it had received approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as a super agent in Nigeria, barely one week after it got a similar nod from the industry watchdog to start a payments service bank.

The fund raising follows previously announced investment transactions by the three firms between March 18 and July 30, 2021.

Mastercard, TPG and QIA have invested previously in the secondary purchase of shares in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV ( AMC BV), a subsidiary of Airtel Africa.

Earlier this year, Airtel Africa put the valuation of its mobile money business on the continent at $2.65 billion.

In the latest round, Mastercard increased its shares in the company by investing $25 million, while TPG and QIA invested $50 million each, summing up to $125 dollars.

“With these second closings, Airtel Africa will have received a total of $500 million cumulative proceeds from the minority stake sales in Airtel Money from the three investors,” it said.

“As previously reported, the proceeds from these secondary stake sale transactions will be used to reduce group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.”

Shares in Airtel Africa gained 4.39 per cent or N38.30 per unit as at 14:28 WAT in Lagos on Tuesday following the announcement. The unit price was N900 at that time.