MTN Terminates Talks With Econet Regarding Botswana Unit

MTN had identified Mascom as non-core to its operations after the company embarked on a review of its investment portfolio.

MTN Group CFO Ralph Mupita
MTN Group CFO Ralph Mupita

MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile phone operator, has terminated talks with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

As part of its R15 billion fund-raising drive, MTN was in talks with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to sell its 53% stake in Botswana Mascom.

“Econet’s unsolicited offer to acquire our 53% stake in Mascom has been terminated following certain conditions of the sale not being met,” MTN Group CFO Ralph Mupita said on Thursday.

MTN had identified Mascom as non-core to its operations after the company embarked on a review of its investment portfolio. Its shareholding didn’t give it control of Mascom and the power to execute strategy.

MTN bought a 44% stake in Mascom in 2005 and co-owns the carrier with local investors.

MTN’s Botswana business is also one of only three country units that MTN operates as a joint venture, alongside Iran and Kingdom of Eswatini.

Providing an update of the asset realisation programme, Mupita said as at June 2019 MTN had achieved R2.1 bIllion of the 3-year R15 billion target announced in March this year.

“We continue to make steady progress in this regard and, following American Towers Corporation’s announcement of its acquisition of Eaton Towers, we are in advanced discussions to dispose of our 49% holdings in ATC Ghana and ATC Uganda which we value at between R7 billion and R8 billion.”

The post IPO lock-up period of Jumia, in which MTN has an 18.9% stake has expired and, as at 29 October, this stake is valued at about R1.4 billion.

“We also continue to await regulatory processes for the redemption of MTN Nigeria preference shares that have a value of $315 million for MTN Group,” said Mupita.

 

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