Bharti Airtel increases stake in Bangladesh’s Robi Axiata to 31.3%

A girl checks her mobile phone as she walks past the Bharti Airtel office building in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

Bharti Airtel Ltd on Tuesday said its wholly-owned subsidiary Bharti International (Singapore) Pte. Ltd has bought an additional 6.3% stake in Bangladesh’s second-largest telecom operator Robi Axiata Ltd for an undisclosed amount from Japanese telecom major NTT Docomo Inc.

Bharti Airtel’s stake in Robi Axiata now stands at 31.3%. Malaysia-based Axiata Group Berhad owns the remaining 68.7% stake in the company.

The stake was acquired at a “mutually-agreed valuation”, Bharti Airtel told the exchanges. “The said valuation is non-material and is not disclosed herein due to reasons of confidentiality,” it said.

The deal precedes the Bangladesh-based telecom operator’s initial public offering (IPO) on the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges, the prospectus for which was filed in March. The stake sale also marked an exit for NTT Docomo. Robi Axiata’s larger rival Grameenphone Ltd is the only mobile operator listed on the country’s stock exchanges.

Axiata Group had in February said the subsidiary will go public with an IPO worth 5.24 billion Bangladeshi taka, or 465 crore, for a 10% stake.

Bharti Airtel had merged its Bangladesh-based unit with Robi Axiata in November 2016 to strengthen its position in the country’s mobile industry.

The article was first published on livemint.com

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.