MTN To Sale Stake in Nigerian operations
MTN Group plans to reduce its shareholding in its Nigerian operations by over 10% in the medium-term, as it seeks to broaden the local shareholder base.
MTN Group, which currently owns 75.6% of MTN Nigeria, last week announced it is working on regulatory approvals to reduce its shareholding to approximately 65%.
The Pan-African mobile operator’s top leadership met with a delegation from the west African country for a bi-national conference to unpack plans for the future and how its two largest markets − SA and Nigeria − can bolster relations, aligning the business to become a digital solutions provider.
Present at the meeting were Nigerian high commissioner to SA Muhammed Haruna Manta, and an MTN Nigeria delegation, led by chairman Ernest Ndukwe and CEO Karl Toriola.
MTN Group chairman Mcebisi Jonas and group president and CEO Ralph Mupita hosted the team.
SA and Nigeria are the biggest contributors to MTN’s coffers, contributing more than half of the value of the group.
Nigeria is MTN’s most profitable and biggest market out of the telco’s continental footprint, followed by SA.
“Nigeria and South Africa are our largest operations, contributing two-thirds of the value of the group. Supporting the strengthening of economic and business relationships between the two countries is in line with our strategic priority to create shared value,” Mupita said.
For Jonas, the visit by the Nigerian delegation was productive: “It has been a fruitful two days in which, together with our Nigeria team, we were able to unpack our plans in Nigeria and how these align to the group’s strategic intent of providing leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.”
Commenting on the outcomes of the meeting, Ndukwe said MTN Nigeria is committed to the country’s socio-economic development.
“MTN Nigeria believes we should not only provide a service to customers, but also deepen connectivity access, as well as drive financial inclusion. To this end, for 2022, MTN Nigeria intends to ensure the connectivity of an additional 2 000 rural communities and has secured 100MHz of 3 500 spectrum to enable Nigeria’s move to 5G.”
Similarly, Toriola elaborated on his operation’s role in creating shared value: “MTN Nigeria is committed to supporting the economic development of the country through driving public-private partnerships and initiatives such as CACOVID [Coalition Against COVID-19], the AU [African Union] vaccine initiative and the construction of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.”
Meanwhile, MTN also revealed it is ramping up its MTN GlobalConnect (MTN GC), the group’s fibre company, by scaling its fixed connectivity and wholesale mobility services.
In the 2021 financial year, MTN GC delivered a strong commercial and financial performance, Mupita said.
“We signed fixed external infrastructure deals to the value of $38.4 million in total contract value terms and delivered growth in external revenue of 30% year-on-year to $288.4 million (total MTN GC revenue of $503.6 million including mobility, up 29% year-on-year).
“In the year, we continued to build scale infrastructure assets to meet the explosive growth in data traffic and the accelerating digital economy in Africa. During 2021, we rolled out terrestrial fibre in some of our markets, including SA, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We concluded 15 new cross-border links across Africa.”