KAMPALA — The MTN Group has agreed to sell 49 per cent of its tower businesses in Ghana and Uganda to a subsidiary of American Tower Company for $523 million.
MTN in a statement revealed that 49 per cent of its holdings in Ghana Tower Interco B.V. and Uganda Tower Interco B.V. will be transferred to AT Sher Netherlands Coöperatief U.A. for $523 million.
The transaction which is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020 is subject to regulatory approval.
“Firstly, MTN has concluded an agreement to dispose of its 49% equity holdings in the Ghana and Uganda Tower Company investments to a subsidiary of American Tower Company for $523 million, approximately R7.3 billion. This transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020,” the statement said.
Group President and CEO Rob Shuter commented “Following the completion of these transactions, MTN will have realised proceeds of approximately R14 billion within the first 12 months of this program. Realising proceeds from simplifying the group remains a major strategic objective and we expect further progress in this program in 2020.”
Clashes with regulators in Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and elsewhere have crimped growth, prompting the company to announce a $1 billion three-year asset-disposal plan earlier this year.
MTN said it had agreed to sell its 49 per cent holdings in Ghana Tower Interco B.V. and Uganda Tower Interco B.V. to AT Sher Netherlands Coöperatief U.A. for $523 million.
The sale is expected to close in Q1 2020 leaving MTN with a profit of 6 billion rand ($425.74 million).
Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executive director, said it was investigating to ascertain whether MTN breached operational guidelines.
He said there are many measures to punish breaches under the law.
The government last year deported four MTN senior managers including chief executive officer Wim Vanhelleputte for alleged espionage.
Under the UCC Act 2013, the commission can suspend or revoke a licence of an operator if it is found guilty of serious and repeated breach of set conditions.
The UCC can also suspend or revoke the licence of an operator that is engaged in fraud, intentional misinterpretation or supporting treasonable activities under the Penal Code Act.