Airtel Africa Launches $100 Million Share Buy-Back Programme to Enhance Shareholder Value

Airtel Africa plc, a premier telecommunications and mobile money services provider operating in 14 African countries, announced today the initiation of a significant share buy-back programme.

This strategic move, aimed at returning up to $100 million to its shareholders, follows the company’s positive nine-month financial results ending 31 December 2023, disclosed on 1 February 2024.

The buy-back programme is set to be implemented in two phases over the next 12 months, with the initial tranche starting today and expected to conclude by 31 August 2024. This first phase will see up to $50 million worth of shares bought back from the market.

In an innovative approach to executing the buy-back, Airtel Africa has partnered with Citigroup Global Markets Limited (“Citi”), which will facilitate on-market purchases of Airtel Africa’s ordinary shares. Subsequently, Airtel Africa will acquire these shares from Citi, ensuring an independent and risk-managed process.

The objective of the share buy-back is to reduce the company’s capital, leading to the cancellation of all acquired shares. This initiative is a testament to Airtel Africa’s robust financial health, underscored by years of diligent efforts to lessen debt levels and fortify the balance sheet. With substantial cash reserves at the holding company level, low leverage, and consistent strong cash flows from operations, Airtel Africa positions itself as financially capable of executing this buy-back, aiming to boost shareholder returns in alignment with its capital allocation policy.

Detailed Framework of the Buy-Back Programme

The buy-back will adhere to specific parameters agreed upon with Citi, respecting the boundaries set by Airtel Africa’s shareholder authorizations and regulatory guidelines, including Chapter 12 of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Listing Rules and the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No 596/2014. Notably, the repurchase of shares will not extend to transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Looking ahead, Airtel Africa plans to initiate a second tranche of the buy-back programme, targeting an additional investment of up to $50 million, further reinforcing its commitment to enhancing value for its shareholders.

This strategic financial manoeuvre highlights Airtel Africa’s confidence in its operational strength and its dedication to rewarding its investors, setting a benchmark for shareholder engagement in the telecommunications sector.

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