" ITREALMS: MTN Group raises stake in Nigeria subsidiary by 6.98

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

MTN Group raises stake in Nigeria subsidiary by 6.98

Remmy Nweke

Telecommunications giant, MTN Group, has raised its stake in its subsidiary, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited by acquiring 6.98 shares from its minority holding.

Thus elevating its shareholding in MTN Nigeria to 81.87 per cent from initial 74.89 per cent, just as the telco said it would provide the subsidiary additional fund to boost its operations in Nigeria.

Chief executive and President MTN Group, Mr. Phuthuma Nhleko, made this disclosed in a press statement made available to Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) said that this brings the total purchase consideration of US$348.9 million, about N44310.3, 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, even as the purchase would be affected via MTN’s wholly-owned subsidiary, MTN International.

He noted that it would bring the MTN Group’s shareholding in MTN Nigeria to 81.87 per cent.
The acquisition as said by him, 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.

Pointing 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 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, 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.

Also, MTN Group is listed on the J’burg Stock Exchange (JSE) Securities Exchange.

The group as at June 30, 2006, recorded more than 31 million subscribers across its operations, including those of the newly acquired Investcom LLC, even as it is expected to launch commercial operations in Iran before the end of this year, subsequent upon the successful purchase of a 49 per cent shareholding in Irancell.

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.

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