MTN Group today announces the company’s exit from operations in Yemen in the Middle East. The company has been steadily pulling out from its operations in the Middle East, having left Syria in August due to “intolerable” operating conditions. MTN is also currently in talks to sell its business in Afghanistan.
MTN leaving Yemen, the company says in a statement, is a transaction that furthers the delivery of its ‘Ambition 2025 strategy’ and is in line with its intention – first announced in August 2020 – to exit the Middle East completely. In August 2020, the MTN Group announced plans to focus on its pan-African strategy in place of other regions and exit the Middle East over the medium term, thereby simplifying its portfolio and reducing risk as the region again proves very unstable.
According to the Group, in the first half of 2021, MTN Yemen contributed 0.3% to MTN Group EBITDA. MTN Group held 82.8% of the shares in MTN Yemen, whose operating licence for its 2G network is due for renewal at the end of 2021.
Effective 17 November 2021, MTN Group transferred its majority shareholding in MTN Yemen to Emerald International Investment LCC. Emerald is a subsidiary of Zubair Investment Center LLC, an affiliate of Zubair Corporation LLC, which is the minority shareholder in MTN Yemen.
“The decision to exit Yemen was driven by a need to simplify the portfolio and focus our limited resources on executing a pan-African strategy,” said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita.
“We would like to thank the 719 employees of MTN Yemen for their commitment over the years,” he added. Mupita also thanked MTN Yemen’s 4.7-million subscribers, who will be transferring to Emerald’s services after the Big Yellow Brand departs the country.
“We wish Emerald well in the next phase of development of this business as they work with the team that served MTN well over the years,” Mupita says.