MTN Group today announced that it will exchange its 51% interest in Nigeria Tower InterCo B.V., the parent company of INT Towers Limited (INT), the Nigerian telecom tower operator, for an additional shareholding in IHS Holding Limited (IHS Group), the largest independent tower operator in Africa. MTN’s economic interest in IHS Group will rise from approximately 15% to roughly 29% as a result of the Transaction. There are no conditions precedent to the Transaction and it is expected to close once the new shares in IHS Group have been issued during Q1 2017.
The interchange of all of its interest in INT in Nigeria for additional shares in the pan-African IHS Group, will see all of MTN’s interest in IHS sit alongside a world-class group of investors including Wendel, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) and Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), among other international investors.
The Transaction, which is a category 2 transaction in terms of the JSE Listings Requirements, enables MTN to simplify its tower ownership structure and diversify its tower infrastructure exposure across the IHS Group which operates in a number of markets across Africa. Moreover, the Transaction will better enable MTN to crystallise value for MTN’s shareholders in the future. The investment in IHS Group allows MTN to benefit economically from its previously owned passive infrastructure and continued network investment.
MTN’s Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, said that “the transaction represents a significant step in MTN’s long-standing partnership with IHS. It simplifies our ownership structure and diversifies our tower investments across the IHS Group. IHS Group is extremely well positioned for future growth and build-out from 3G upgrades and the move to LTE across its key markets.”
Issam Darwish, Executive Vice Chairman and Group CEO of IHS Group, said: “The MTN transaction and partnership was transformational for IHS and has allowed us to invest a significant amount of capital to better serve our customers, accelerate our growth and the development of critical telecommunications infrastructure across Africa. We are delighted to announce the transaction which simplifies the shareholding structure of IHS Group and marks an important milestone as we strengthen our capital structure and our position as the leading independent tower company in EMEA.”
Ghana: MTN partners DataMi, Viotech for sponsored data service
MTN Ghana has announced it will be launching the first sponsored data service in Ghana in partnership with Datami and Viotech.
The sponsored data services will allow customers to use data services at the expense of a third party company. The service will enable companies to pay for data usage of customers who use specific content from the sponsoring company. This means that customers will be able to access websites, browse, use applications, stream and enjoy content of the sponsoring company without data being deducted from the customer’s account.
Commenting on the service, the Chief Marketing Officer of MTN Ghana, Asher Yaqub Khan, said: “With a vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world, MTN will continue to drive the digital agenda in the Ghanaian market. We are confident that this service will play a key role in helping individuals connect with businesses; it will also help them to access more information at any given time.
Mr. Khan added: “The launch of this innovative service will also enable our valued customers to experience MTN’s 4G LTE services. Sponsored data is an important new mobile marketing opportunity for businesses.”
The CEO of Datami, Harjot Saluja, also commenting on the launch of the service, said: “We are thrilled to be working with MTN and Viotech on this transformative service. Very soon, mobile customers in Ghana will be able use their favourite apps and services without worrying about the cost of the service.”
Daniel Abunu, Managing Director of Viotech, said: “This is a first in West Africa, and we are thrilled to be partnering with one of the most innovative operators in Africa to bring the service to market. Sponsored data will increase digital inclusion in Ghana through unique marketing campaigns and promotions that allow people to access mobile content and apps free of data charges.
MTN’s sponsored data service will provide endless opportunities for the sponsoring companies. The service will give sponsoring organisations the opportunity to adopt innovative processes in their business operations.
MTN currently leads the data market with a 49.25% share, and more than nine million data subscribers as at April 2016.
Rwanda: MTN launches 4G LTE on mobile devices
MTN has announced the launch of services in Rwanda. The company revealed that the service will be available to customers who own LTE-enabled devices. This latest development, according to MTN, will allow customers to maintain a full 4G experience during a call.
Speaking about the service MTN Chief Executive Officer, Gunter Engling said: “We at MTN aim to provide our customers with the best possible user experience by adapting new technologies such as the introduction of 4G LTE on mobile devices.”
Han-Sung Yoon, Chief Executive Officer of Olleh Rwanda networks, also commented on the launch by saying that: “Olleh commends MTN Rwanda for this achievement and pledges continuous support towards more innovative solutions based on 4G LTE Technology.”
MTN revealed that to enjoy the 4G experience, existing subscribers will have to upgrade their SIM cards to a 4G SIM card. Once connected to the 4G network, customers will dial *345# and select the 4G bundle to purchase a daily, weekly or monthly pack.