Airtel Africa’s controlling stake in its mobile money business, Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), will be cut down following a deal with the Qatar Holding LLC.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) affiliate has paid $200 million for a minority stake in the telecommunications company.
The deal brought the number of deals in Airtel to three following a $100 million investment from MasterCard and another $200 million deal with The Rise Fund.
With the new investment from Qatar Holding, Airtel mobile money business is now worth $2.65 billion.
The company had adopted fundraising in exchange for shares in a bid to avoid debt.
The Chief Executive Officer of QIA, Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, said the company is positioning itself in Africa’s unbanked market.
Telecommunications companies in Africa are entering the mobile money market to take advantage of the areas underserved by banks
MTN’s MOMO and Airtel Nigeria’s AMC are major drivers of the telcos invasion of the financial market, and the CEO of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said there are substantial opportunities in the market.
Both companies will be competing beyond the Nigerian market as MTN operates in over 20 countries in Africa while Airtel Africa has networks in 14 others.
The mobile network providers are looking to tap into their subscribers’ base in urban and rural areas across the continent.
MTN has over 280 million subscribers while Airtel Africa boasts of about 100 million users in Africa as of December 2020.