Pan-African mobile operator MTN Group realised a gain of ZAR14 billion (USD982 million) in asset sales as a result of its 2019 Asset Realisation Programme (ARP), group president and CEO Rob Shuter has confirmed. The MTN official went on to note that ‘realising proceeds from simplifying the group remains a major strategic objective and we expect further progress in this program in 2020’.
The ARP was launched in March 2019 and aims to simplify MTN’s portfolio, reduce debt and risk, improve returns and realise proceeds of at least ZAR15 billion over three years. The Group is reviewing a raft of investments under the three-year divestment programme with a renewed focus on high-growth markets in the Middle East and Africa.
In a press statement, MTN said that, ‘following on the proceeds raised from the disposals of its stakes in Amadeus, Travelstart and the ATC loan of ZAR2.1 billion earlier in the year, MTN has now concluded two further transactions bringing the total proceeds from its ARP to ZAR14 billion thus far.’ It went on to point out that it has agreed to dispose of its 49% equity holdings in the Ghana and Uganda Tower Company investments to a subsidiary of American Tower Company for USD523 million – in a deal that is expected to close in Q1 2020 – while, separately, it has confirmed that MTN Nigeria has completed the redemption of its preference shares with MTN Group receiving an amount of USD315 million in December 2019.