Airtel Uganda Plans Share Listing on Uganda Securities Exchange to Boost Local Ownership

Airtel Uganda to offer eight billion shares, promote local ownership, and support capital market growth.

Airtel Uganda has made a significant announcement, revealing its plans to list shares on the primary investment market of the Uganda Securities Exchange.

In this strategic move, Airtel intends to initiate a public offering, putting up eight billion ordinary shares, equivalent to twenty percent of Airtel Uganda Limited. The formal publication of the prospectus, following approval by the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda (CMA), will mark the next step in this process.

Airtel emphasized that, should the prospectus receive the CMA’s endorsement, the offering will consist of the sale of ordinary shares by Bharti Airtel Uganda Holdings B.V., ultimately funneling the proceeds, net of related expenses, to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airtel Africa.

Airtel’s statement highlights the expectation that this offer will substantially increase local ownership of Airtel Uganda Limited, with a preference for Ugandan investors, concurrently contributing to the growth and development of the capital markets within Uganda.

A noteworthy feature of this offering is its aim to enhance retail participation, with shares being made accessible to retail investors via Airtel Money’s platform, in addition to traditional channels, contingent on the CMA’s approval of the prospectus.

This move is a response to the regulatory requirement set forth in Article 16 of Uganda’s National Telecom Operator license, mandating Airtel Uganda Limited to list a minimum of 20% of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange. The Uganda Communications Commission, serving as Airtel Uganda’s primary regulator, has established a deadline of December 16, 2023, for compliance with this listing obligation.

Key financial entities involved in this endeavor include Absa Bank Uganda Limited, serving as the Lead Transaction Advisor, Crested Capital as the Lead Sponsoring Broker, Katende Ssempembwa & Company Advocates as the Legal Advisor, and EY in the role of the reporting accountant.

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