Photograph — Nikkei Asia

Airtel Africa’s initial public offering on the Malawi Stock Exchange was fully subscribed, raising over $30 million in the process, the company disclosed in a statement made available on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

“All ordinary shares offered in the IPO have been fully subscribed,” the network operator said, adding that the total number of shares offered was 2.2 billion, equivalent to 20 percent of shares outstanding.

The price has been set at MK 12.69 ($0.02) per ordinary share, resulting in gross proceeds of approximately MK 27.92 billion ($37.5million), Airtel added, in line with its targeted raise revealed in an announcement last December.

The decision to list shares in its local subsidiary in Malawi is in compliance with the laws of the southern African country. A section of the Communications Act of 2016 on licensing for the operation of a telecommunications and broadcasting subsidiary, requires that the company have at least 20 percent local Malawian shareholding.

Many countries across Africa have similar legislation that mandates local ownership in foreign companies, for the purpose of promoting local investment and ownership in key sectors such as telecoms.

Airtel Africa (a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel) is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services. It is the second-largest mobile operator in Africa behind MTN by the number of active subscribers with subsidiaries in 14 nations across the continent.

The firm has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi Zambia, Niger, Gabon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Seychelles and Nigeria, where it has 33 million subscribers, the second-largest telco behind MTN Nigeria, and went public last July.

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