South Africa-based MTN Group has paid USD3.6 billion in cash to Investcom’s shareholders as part of its USD5.5 billion takeover of the Lebanon-based mobile holding company. MTN’s offer for Investcom was accepted by 99.5% of the company’s shareholders, and it will today list 183.2 million shares to cover the share payment. MTN said in a statement: ‘This represents one of the largest ever payments by a South African company for international assets and indicates MTN Group’s confidence in the future of telecommunications in emerging markets,’ adding that the integration of Investcom had already begun and that almost all Investcom management will join MTN.
The acquisition of Investcom, which uses the Areeba brand name for its mobile operations, provides MTN with a presence in Benin, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and licences to build networks in Afghanistan and Guinea. Investcom also provides international carrier services, principally through Med Net, a subsidiary based in Monaco, fixed telephony services in the UK and telecoms engineering and consulting services. MTN said the merger will create a group servicing 28.1 million subscribers in 21 countries.