To consolidate its hold on the African market, South Africa’s mobile telecommunications firm, MTN is divesting from Europe.
With operations in 22 countries in Africa, and the Middle East, the firm announced recently the sale of its Cyprus unit for $305million to Monaco Telecom.
MTN Cyprus was its only presence in Europe, and “falls outside the group’s core footprint of Africa and the Middle East,” MTN had said in the sale announcement.
Though, report had it that the telecommunications firm may move against some non-performing African countries including Liberia, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau because they have the lowest number of subscribers after Cyprus, but did not give details.
In an interview with The Guardian, the Corporate Relations Executive of MTN Nigeria, Tobechukwu Okigbo, confirmed the exit from Cyprus, saying the purpose is to give more attention to the African markets.
“MTN just sold its only European operation in Cyprus to focus on other key markets, which is Africa.
As we speak, the focus of MTN is Africa and Nigeria is a very key market, a priority one for that matter and it is investing,” he said.
MTN currently has over 240 million subscribers across its markets of operations, with Nigeria being the largest arm. MTN Nigeria has over 66 million customers and enjoys 40 per cent market share in the country.
As part of its African commitment, the firm on May 29, launched its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Ghana.
The IPO is expected to have been closed on July 31.
A total of up to 4,637,394,533 ordinary shares of MTN Ghana, representing 35 per cent of its equity were offered to qualifying applicants.