MTN Group to press on with plans to downsize its stake in Nigeria, despite Covid 19 pandemic

MTN is Nigeria’s biggest telco, with over 59 million subscribers in the West African nation
MTN Group, Nigeria, Telecoms, Divestment, Covid 19
Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Pan African telco, MTN Group, is set to move ahead with its plan to reduce its majority stake in MTN Nigeria, despite the economic fallout brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic.

A report in the Bloomberg news site claims that the company is now considering a phased sell off of shares in Nigeria’s biggest telco.

Bloomberg originally reported on MTN Group’s decision to downsize its exposure in Nigeria, following a series of spats with the government over a multi billion dollar tax bill and allegations that MTN Group had improperly removed billions of dollars of revenue from Nigeria.

MTN Group plans to reduce its majority stake in MTN Nigeria by around 15 per cent, reducing its total holding in the company to 64 per cent. MTN Nigeria remains the country’s second biggest publically traded company and the sale of a 15 per cent stake in the firm would raise significant capital for South African headquartered MTN Group. Whilst the economic downturn caused by the Covid 19 pandemic will undoubtedly drag prices down, MTN Group remains committed to divesting the 15 per cent stake.

“In Nigeria, we still want to do part of our retail offer, even if it’s a smaller part of the total planned sale,” MTN group chief executive officer, Ralph Mupita, told journalists from Bloomberg.

“We are applying our minds to doing this at the moment,” he added.

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