Bharti Airtel to acquire remaining 30% of Airtel Bangla

Bharti Airtel to acquire remaining 30% of Airtel Bangla

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has today announced it will acquire 30% of its Bangladesh-based arm Airtel Bangla from Warid Telecom to take full ownership of the company.

Airtel initially acquired a 70% stake in Warid Telecom’s Bangladeshi subsidiary in January 2010 for $300 million, rebranding it Airtel Bangla in December that year and thecompany today moved to make it a wholly-owned subsidiary. UAE-based Warid Telecom began trading in Bangladesh in 2007.

Airtel has also reportedly been interested in increasing its African footprint, and in April this year it signed a definitive agreement to fully acquire Warid Telecom Uganda.

The company has since said it was looking to consolidate its position in Uganda and is looking to increase its profitability across its African units.

“With Africa over its peak of organic investments we are optimistic about the potential for improved market shares and margin expansions,” said Sunil Mittal, CEO of Bharti Enterprises.

Manoj Kohli, MD and CEO of International at Bharti Airtel said the acquisition in Africa provided “great synergies”. He also commented the market will be ready to invest and grow in wireless broadband and m-commerce.

Airtel has also posted a fiscal Q4 profit fall of 49% year-on-year across its operations. In the three months leading to March 2013, the operator’s profit fell by almost half from $187 million to $94.76 million.

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