MTN GROUP RAISES STAKE IN NIGERIA SUBSIDIARY
Thus increasing its shareholding in MTN Nigeria to 81.87 per cent from initial 74.89 per cent, and promised to inject additional fund to boost its operations in Nigeria.
Chief executive and President of the MTN Group, Phuthuma Nhleko, disclosed in a press statement made available to Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) that the new investment increases the total purchase consideration of MTN Nigeria to US$348.9 million (N44310.3) and would be funded through a cash payment of US$287.8 million.
This, he said would translate to an issue of 6,093,463 ordinary shares in MTN Nigeria. The purchase would be affected via MTN's wholly-owned subsidiary, MTN International.
Nhleko noted that it would bring the MTN Group's shareholding in MTN Nigeria to 81.87 per cent, and said that the acquisition would make easy the realisation of the group's investment in Nigeria.
"The acquisition will enable the minority shareholders to realise a portion of their investment in MTN Nigeria," he declared.
He also pointed out that the acquisition is part of a process to facilitate a broader spectrum of Nigerians to participate in the performance of MTN Nigeria.
It would be recalled that MTN Nigeria launched operations in 2001 and is the leading Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator in the country, with a subscriber base of 9.6 million as at June 30, 2006.
MTN Nigeria's GSM network comprises over 2,336 base stations and an extensive transmission infrastructure, providing access to approximately 73 per cent of Nigeria's population.
On the other hand, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group that commenced operations in 1994 and has its presence in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. MTN is also listed on the J'burg Stock Exchange (JSE).
The group as at June 30, 2006, recorded more than 31 million subscribers across its operations, including those of the newly acquired Investcom LLC, and is expected to launch commercial operations in Iran before the end of this year, if its bid to purchase 49 per cent of Irancell is successful.
MTN Group operations include Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia. The acquisition of Investcom adds the following countries of operation to MTN's portfolio - Afghanistan, Benin, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Liberia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Highway Africa News Agency