Telecom News MTN plans to sell shares in Ghana Unit to secure local spectrum

The sale would help MTN meet conditions it agreed to last year when it spent $67.5 million for the right to use spectrum that can carry high-speed mobile data for customers in Ghana.

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MTN Group Ltd. plans to sell shares its Ghanaian business as Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales fulfills a condition related to the allocation of internet spectrum in the country.

The company has submitted a prospectus to Ghana’s securities regulator and plans to sell 35 percent of the business, Adu Anane Antwi, director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said by phone on Wednesday.

The Johannesburg-based mobile provider plans to raise $500 million from the sale and is approaching wealthy individuals in the West African country, according to people familiar with the matter.

The sale would help MTN meet conditions it agreed to last year when it spent $67.5 million for the right to use spectrum that can carry high-speed mobile data for customers in Ghana.

The company was granted a 15-year license for fourth-generation spectrum on the condition that 35 percent of the business would be owned by Ghanaian investors.

A representative of MTN declined to comment.

MTN said earlier this month it raised more than $1.3 billion from loan agreements as it works to improve its debt structure and support its credit rating.

MTN’s move to attract funding comes after the company reported its first-ever half-year loss in August, partly caused by an agreement to settle a record 330 billion naira ($1.1 billion) fine in Nigeria for missing a deadline to disconnect customers.

MTN said is “strongly refutes” an accusation by Nigerian lawmakers that the wireless carrier illegally moved almost $14 billion out of the country over 10 years as the company tries to quell the latest controversy in its largest market.

 

Credit: Bloomberg

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