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    Airtel Africa Plc initiates $100 Million share buy-back programme

    Business

    Airtel Africa Plc initiates $100 Million share buy-back programme

    Airtel Africa Plc has officially commenced its share buy-back programme, following the announcement made in its financial declaration on February 1, 2024, alongside the release of its nine-month results up to December 31, 2023.

    In a notice to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the investment public, Airtel Africa disclosed the initiation of its share buy-back programme, aiming to return up to $100 million to shareholders.

    The statement, signed by Alastair Jones, Investor Relations at Airtel Africa, outlines that the programme commenced on February 29th and will extend for a duration of 12 months. The buy-back programme is expected to be phased over two tranches, with the first tranche already underway and anticipated to conclude on or before August 31, 2024.

    Airtel Africa has entered into an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Limited (“Citi”) to conduct the first tranche of the buy-back, with Citi facilitating on-market purchases of the company’s ordinary shares. The telecom firm emphasized that Citi would act as a riskless principal and make independent decisions regarding the buy-back.

    The primary objective of the buy-back programme is to reduce the capital of the company, with all repurchased shares set to be cancelled. Airtel Africa emphasized that the initiative reflects the significant progress made in recent years to reduce leverage and strengthen its balance sheet, highlighting its strong operating cash generation and cash accretion at the holding company level.

    The purchases of ordinary shares under the buy-back programme will adhere to specific pre-set parameters established in the agreement with Citi and comply with the Company’s general authority to repurchase ordinary shares granted by its shareholders. This authority was granted at the annual general meeting on July 4, 2023, where shareholders approved the purchase of a maximum of 375,815,150 ordinary shares.

    The buy-back programme will operate within the regulatory framework outlined in the Financial Conduct Authority’s Listing Rules and the provisions of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No 596/2014. Notably, purchases may continue during closed periods of the Company, although no repurchases will occur on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

    Looking ahead, the Company intends to initiate a second tranche of the share buy-back programme in due course, amounting to up to $50 million, further enhancing shareholder returns in line with its capital allocation policy.

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