Johannesburg-listed telecoms group MTN has concluded the sale of its subsidiary in Cyprus to Monaco Telecom for ZAR4.5 billion (USD297 million) in cash. Proceeds from the sale will be used to the help settle MTN’s dollar-denominated debt. As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MTN Group agreed to sell MTN Cyprus to Monaco Telecom – 55%-owned by French billionaire Xavier Niel – in July 2018, valuing the division at about eight times 2017 EBITDA. 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.
The sale is part of MTN’s ongoing review of 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.