MTN Group is considering abandoning its purchase of Nigerian operator Visafone Communications, after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ruled that the 800MHz spectrum should not be included in the deal, Bloomberg reports, citing two people familiar with the matter. In December last year MTN finalised the acquisition of Lagos-based Visafone for a total cash consideration of ZAR3.43 billion (USD250 million) and began migrating Visafone’s roughly 2.1 million subscribers onto its own GSM network, with a view to using the 800MHz spectrum to roll out LTE in selected cities. However, last week the NCC ruled that taking control of the frequencies would increase MTN’s dominance in the country. According to an unnamed source, MTN is now deciding whether acquiring Visafone is still worth it, if the spectrum is excluded from the deal.
Last week, MTN Group refuted allegations raised by Nigerian lawmakers that it had illegally transferred USD13.92 billion out of the country over a ten-year period.