South Africa’s MTN Group has disclosed that its decision to sell its 20% shareholding in Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS) to Belgian state-controlled telecoms firm Proximus forms part of its strategy to trim debt, simplify its portfolio and improve returns over the next three to five years. MTN announced yesterday (9 February) that it will use the ZAR1.8 billion (USD121.4 million) proceeds from the deal to pay down US dollar-denominated debt and for general corporate purposes. At 30 September 2020 the Group’s net debt was ZAR60.6 billion.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Proximus has agreed to acquire MTN and Swisscom’s respective 20% and 22.4% shares in BICS, making Proximus the sole shareholder of its international wholesale arm. MTN added that the closing of the transaction is dependent on customary regulatory approvals.