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MTN Afghanistan gets $35M buyout offer

MTN Group is moving forward with plans to sell all of its operations in the Middle East and has received a $35 million offer to sell its business in Afghanistan.

The South African-headquartered group's Middle East exodus has been on the cards since August 2020. The group had to abandon its operation in Syria in August 2021 and sold its Yemen business in November 2021.

MTN operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East and had 281.6 million subscribers at the end of June 2022 — an increase of 5.6% year-on-year.

African operator MTN Group has a binding offer to acquire 100% of operations in Afghanistan as it continues plans to exit the Middle East and focus on Africa.  (Source: '>warrenski on Flickr CC 2.0 )
African operator MTN Group has a binding offer to acquire 100% of operations in Afghanistan as it continues plans to exit the Middle East and focus on Africa.
(Source: warrenski on Flickr CC 2.0 )

Once the Afghanistan deal goes through, MTN's only remaining investment in the Middle East will be a 49% shareholding in Irancell in Iran.

"Our intention was to do an orderly exit of Afghanistan, and we were looking to maximize the proceeds we could get within the context of the macro [environment] within Afghanistan. So, we're very comfortable with the proceeds that we are going to receive — subject to concluding all the conditions precedent," MTN Group CEO, Ralph Mupita, told journalists on a media call on Thursday.

"We are really focused on reducing our footprint to a pan-Africa focus, and also reducing the risk profile of the group. So, that may not have a financial value to it, but I think it does improve the risk-adjusted view on the group," he added, but would not disclose the name of the company looking to buy the Afghan operation.

— This is an excerpt from a longer article on our sister site, Connecting Africa. Read the full story here.

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— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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