How much MTN really paid to buy Nigeria’s Visafone?

MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, disclosed on Monday how much it paid to buy Visafone, Nigeria’s wireless network provider. By Gugu Lourie

Africa’s largest telecoms group said on its 2015 integrated annual report that it paid R3.4 billion to buy Visafone.

In 31 December 2015, MTN bought 100% of Visafone.

Visafone, which was incorporated in Nigeria on June 20, 2007 following the acquisition of Cellcom received its Unified Access Service Licence as a telecom operator from the NCC on August 1, 2007 positioned it to offer mobile, fixed and any other telecommunications service to its subscribers.

The deal enables MTN Nigeria to utilise Visafone’s 800MHz spectrum to launch fourth generation long term evolution (4GLTE) services.

“This, along with the acquisition of a 4G/LTE licence and digital TV spectrum, will provide us with access to sufficient spectrum to roll out LTE services,” the biggest mobile phone operator in Niger said.

It added that the acquisition seeks to leverage resources for service enhancement and reflects its concerted efforts to deepen the growth and roll-out of broadband services across Nigeria.

Visafone contributed no revenues and net profit to MTN Nigeria for the period ended 31 December 2015 as the business was acquired on the last day of the year.

MTN said the consolidated pro forma revenue and profit for the year ended 31 December 2015 as though the acquisition had occurred on 1 January 2015 cannot be disclosed as the audited financial statements of Visafone for the year ended 31 December 2015 are not yet available.

The South Africa-based telco did not assume any liabilities, other than deferred tax, from the acquisition of Visafone.

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