The Chairman of India’s largest mobile-phone operator, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Sunil Bharti Mittal, has disclosed that the company is considering mergers or sales off its stake in Nigeria and some of its Africa operations so as to cut debt and make its biggest overseas acquisition profitable.
Mittal, who stated this in an interview with Bloomberg, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said some of the firm’s businesses in 15 African nations would be affected.
He said that the development could result in job cuts at various levels and shrinking of businesses in Nigeria and other countries of operations on the continent including Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Mittal further said that the cut in operations in the continent could be completed within a year. Faced with an escalating price war in its home market, Bharti is looking for ways to pare net debt equivalent to about $12 billion as of September.