MTN Group reconsidering strategy on tower asset sales

18 Nov 2013

TMT Finance reports that South Africa-based multinational mobile operator MTN Group is reconsidering a plan to sell off its tower assets in its home market and in Nigeria, and enter into a leaseback system there, following a reappraisal that indicated the infrastructure in question is too ‘strategic’ to sell. Sources close to the company suggest that whilst MTN is forging ahead with the divestment of towers in Zambia and Rwanda – where it has already received bids for the combined portfolio — a similar plan to offload several thousand towers in South Africa to American Tower Corp (ATC) is now ‘unlikely to happen’, as is a straightforward sale of its towers in Nigeria. The online journal cites one banker with knowledge of the situation as saying that the Johannesburg-based firm now sees its assets in the aforementioned countries as ‘too important to sell’, although it ‘may still consider smaller divestitures where it makes sense’.

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