Airtel Plans To Sell Part of Mobile Money Business To Raise Cash

Airtel eSIM Kenya
Image: Bloomberg

Airtel Africa earlier this week revealed its plans to sell a minority stake in its mobile money service, Airtel Money to try and raise cash. The London-listed company that currently operates in 14 African countries, said this move is part of its plan to sell some of its assets.

“We are actively pursuing the sale of the remaining owned tower sites that sit across several of our operating countries and the group is in discussions with various potential investors in relation to possible minority investments into Airtel Money,” the firm says in a trading update.

“Discussions are ongoing between the parties and there can be no certainty that a transaction will be concluded or as to the final terms of any transaction.”  However, it is not yet clear how much money the proposed deal will raise for the telco.

The service registered KES 32 billion of revenue across the 14 African markets last year, accounting a 34.2% growth from the previous year. Over the same period, the value of transactions on the platform rose to $33.4 billion (Sh3.6 trillion) from $23.3 billion (Sh2.5 trillion).

“Our mobile money customer base reached 21.5 million, up 29% over the previous period, with Airtel Money customers now representing 18% of our total customers, an increase of 2.5 percentage points,” the multinational said in a statement.

“Mobile money average revenue per user (ARPU) was up 5.1% to $1.7 (Sh187), driven by the increase in transaction values and a higher contribution from merchant payments, cash out, person-to-person transfer and recharge of mobile services through Airtel Money.”

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