Bharti Airtel Ltd and Kuwait-based Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC, which owns Zain brand, on Tuesday announced entering into an agreement to acquire Zain Africa BV at an enterprise valuation of $10.7 billion (Rs 49,000 crore).
Under the agreement, Bharti will acquire Zain’s African mobile services operations in 15 countries with a total customer base of over 42 million.
This will make Bharti Airtel a true telecom multinational with operations in 18 countries. Thus, Bharti will become fifth largest service provider with a subscriber base of 179 million.
Of the $10.7 billion, Bharti will pay $9 billion (Rs 41,500 crore) to Zain; the balance $1.7 billion (Rs 7,800 crore) is debt. Bharti will pay $700 million (Rs 3,200 crore) to Zain a year after the deal closure. Therefore, the total payment obligation at present is $8.3 billion (Rs 37,350 crore).
“We believe that the strength of our brand and the historical Indian connect with Africa coupled with our unique business model will allow us to unlock the potential of these emerging markets,” said Sunil Mittal, CMD of Bharti Airtel.