MTN continues its spin-off of non-core assets


Johannesburg – Africa’s biggest mobile operator MTN yesterday announced that it had sold its 20% stake in Belgacom International Carrier Services (Bics) for R1.8-billion to Belgian digital services provider Proximus as part of a process to dispose of non-core.

MTN, whose net debt stood at R70.9billion at the end of June last year, said that the proceeds of the transaction would go towards paying down US dollar debt and for general corporate purposes.

“The sale represents further progress in MTN’s stated asset realisation programme, which aims to reduce debt and risk and unlock value,” said MTN.

Bics is one of the world’s biggest providers of roaming services and has been MTN’s preferred provider for international voice and messaging services to and from the rest of the world for years.

The company said the closing of the transaction was dependent on customary regulatory approvals.

“Bics was classified as a non-current asset held for sale and this transaction has resulted in a remeasurement of its carrying value, resulting in a reduction of R397 million for the year ended December 31, 2020,” MTN said.

“Once all the conditions precedent have been fulfilled, MTN will receive proceeds of approximately €100 million (R1.8 billion) in cash, which the group intends to use to pay down US dollar debt and for general corporate purpose.”

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