A busy period for pan-African operator MTN Group – and its ongoing plan to sell assets, pay down debt and invest in expansion – looks set to continue.
Bloomberg reports that MTN plans to separate its fibre and fintech units as part of its plans to unlock value.
According to the news agency, MTN CEO Ralph Mupita said recently that the leading African operator is seeking strategic partners and investors for the businesses.
It’s probably not surprising that the company sees value in the staggering 85,000 kilometres of fibre it owns across the continent, especially at a time of fast internet take-up across Africa. And of course, fintech-related business, notably mobile payment services, is expanding rapidly. MTN’s fintech business is eight percent of group revenue, growing, according to the CEO, to some 20 percent in the next three to four years.
Among recent revenue-boosting deals, tower asset sales have already delivered some good returns, as has the sale of a stake in e-commerce group Jumia Technologies AG. A sale-and-leaseback deal on MTN’s South African towers may be next.
Further positive news for MTN recently came from Nigeria with last week’s announcement that MTN Nigeria has acquired an additional 10MHz spectrum in the 800MHz band from Intercellular Nigeria Limited after approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
As local press points out, the additional spectrum may play a part in the group's expansion of 4G LTE services across the country – and it’s not the only spectrum bonus the company has enjoyed lately. In 2019, the NCC approved the transfer of CDMA operator Visafone's 800MHz spectrum to MTN Nigeria, a potential boost for network reach in rural areas.