One of India’s biggest telecom operators Bharti Airtel has strengthened its presence in neighboring Bangladesh with acquiring an additional 6.3% stake in Robi Axiata from Japan’s NTT Docomo.
One of India’s biggest telecom operators Bharti Airtel has strengthened its presence in neighboring Bangladesh with acquiring an additional 6.3% stake in Robi Axiata from Japan’s NTT Docomo. “Bharti International (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (directly and through its affiliate entities), a whole owned subsidiary (step-down) of the Company, has acquired additional 6.3% stake in Robi Axiata Limited (an entity in Bangladesh) from NTT DOCOMO INC. and its group entities,” the company announced in a BSE filing without disclosing the amount of the deal. While the company already has stakes in Robi Axiata Limited, with today’s announcement, the stake of Bharti International (Singapore) will rise to 31.3 per cent from 25 per cent at present.
The company has received nod from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) for the said deal. Robi Axiata is the second largest mobile network operator in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi telecom operator is a subsidiary company of Axiata Investments (Labuan) Limited, which is also the subsidiary of the leading Asian telecom giant, Axiata Group Berhad, based in Malaysia. The acquisition does not fall within related party transactions and will be completed within the time agreed by both parties, Bharti Airtel said without disclosing the acquisition time.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel shares are expected to double in the coming three years on the back of telecom revenue boom in the country. Jefferies maintained its buy rating on Bharti Airtel shares with the 12-month price target of Rs 660 per share. Bharti Airtel’s “fair value” could reach Rs 840-1,110 per share by March 2023 as industry revenue expands. “With the market being a virtual duopoly, competition is at the lowest it has ever been,” and that should help sector revenue double over the next five years to $38 billion,” a Jefferies note said recently. The telecom revenues are also expected to double by FY25 as India has entered a “tariff discipline phase”, the Jefferies report added. Bharti Airtel is likely to be the key beneficiary on this welcome news for telecom sector after years of telecom distress owing to Reliance Jio’s entry into telecom market and this year’s AGR dues issue.