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MTN exits two African countries to focus on high-growth markets

MTN Group, Africa’s largest network operator by subscriber base, has accepted an undisclosed offer from Africa-focused telecommunication service, Telecel, for the sale of its equity interests in MTN Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry, as it looks to exit smaller markets in the West and Central Africa (WECA) region. MTN revealed this development in its 2023 financials.

A spokesperson for the telco confirmed the sale of the business segments but declined to comment on how much the sale would cost.

Further, in the aforementioned report, MTN shared that its Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry businesses have been classified as held for sale as of December 31, 2023.

“Telecel, an established telecoms operator with a significant presence in Africa, is well positioned to drive the growth and further development of these operations and contribute to technological and economic progress in these markets,” a note in its financials said.

This move will allow MTN to focus on Ghana, Cameroon, and Cote d’Ivoire, stronger markets in the West and Central Africa region which collectively contribute 18.6% to the group’s revenue, over other West and Central African (WECA) countries that contribute 7.3% to the firm.

MTN Guinea-Bissau recorded some poor performances after it breached a loan covenant as result of its negative EBITDA performance. (EBITDA means Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation.)

The process of converting MTN Guinea-Bissau’s financial results into its primary currency resulted in a loss of R1.69 billion ($89,392,809), per its annual report.

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