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MTN is Selling its South African Towers

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
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The MTN Group is set to complete the sale and leaseback of its South African towers by the end of September, while also separating both its fintech and fibre units in an effort to pay down its debts.

According to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence, MTN’s tower deal could generate as much as R11-million ($747K). The wireless carrier’s fintech move is due to be finalised by March of next year, and its fibre move is to be finalised over the next two years.

This comes as Africa’s largest mobile phone company is more than two years into a transformational breakup project, shedding assets and exiting markets to focus on its core business endeavours around the continent, writes Bloomberg.

MTN also confirmed that it would not be resubmitting its bid for a telecommunications license in Ethiopia, which is opening up its fallow market to international operators for the very first time. A previous offer by MTN and its partners was rejected by the Ethiopian government in May.

MTN Reports Increased Revenue

MTN reported that sales grew by 2.1% in the six months through June, while earnings BITDA rose by 6.6%. The Group outperformed in its home market of South Africa, where its revenues grew by 12%.

The telco managed to cut its debt to R36.7-billion ($2.4-billion) from about R43.3-billion ($2.9-billion). MTN also repatriated R7-billion ($475-million) this year from Nigeria, where it has historically been difficult to extract cash due to a lack of foreign exchange.

Nigeria is also yet to renew MTN’s operating license in the West Africa country, saying that the Group’s application to operate for the next 10 years “was still undergoing regulatory processing.”

In March, MTN Nigeria said that it was at an “advanced stage” in renewing its operating spectrum and licence from September. This spectrum encompasses the company’s data network and telecom coverage in Africa most populous country and largest economy.

Despite its licence yet to be renewed, the telco has experienced increased revenues in the country across the first half of 2021.

By Luis Monzon
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