MTN Group has agreed to sell its Cypriot unit to Monaco Telecom – 55%-owned by French billionaire Xavier Niel – for EUR260 million (USD304 million), thus valuing the division at about eight times 2017 EBITDA, the company said in a statement. Monaco Telecom will continue to use the MTN brand in Cyprus for up to three years in return for a commercial fee. Akira Partners LLP advised MTN on the deal, while Monaco Telecom was advised by Lazard.
TeleGeography notes that MTN’s CEO Rob Shuter said in March 2018 that his company was reviewing its portfolio ‘to make sure all divisions were self-funding and necessary parts of the business’. The Cypriot division, which was acquired in 2006 as part of MTN’s purchase of Investcom LLC, is outside the Johannesburg-based carrier’s core territories of Africa and the Middle East, and had 426,000 customers at the end of March 2018.