Airtel is strengthening its presence in Africa: The company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Warid’s Congo Brazzaville business, giving it a combined user base of 2.6 million customers in Congo Brazzaville – 1.6 million with Airtel and 1 million with Warid. The company claims this acquisition makes Airtel the market leader in the country, although note that the acquisition is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals.
This is Airtel’s second acquisition in Africa after it bought out Warid’s Uganda business in April 2013. Airtel had also bought 70% stake in Warid Bangladesh in 2010 and had announced plans to acquire the remaining 30% stake in the venture earlier in May 2013.
Airtel currently has a presence in 17 African countries and claims to be the largest telco in the continent with over 66 million customers for the quarter ended September 2013. In March 2013, Airtel had also increased its stake in Airtel Nigeria to 79.06%, purchasing 13.36% stake from existing shareholders.
The company had reported revenues of $1.12 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, up 2% year-on-year (YoY) from $1.1 billion in the same quarter last year. Net revenue grew by 6.1% YoY to $934 million for the quarter from $881 million in the same quarter last year. Africa revenues currently accounts for 94% of Airtel’s International revenues.
Last week, Airtel had also partnered mobile games company Nazara Technologies to launch a mobile gaming subscription service ‘Airtel Games Club’, in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda & Zambia.