MTN in talks to acquire Vodacom DRC unit – Bloomberg

2011-10-18 08:39

MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile operator, is in talks to acquire Vodacom’s wireless unit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Bloomberg said today, citing two unidentified sources.

Vodacom, a unit of Britian’s Vodafone, said last year it had appointed investment bank Rothschild to “explore options” for the business in the DRC, where it has been involved in a fee dispute with its local partner.

Vodacom owns a 51% stake in the DRC unit, with the remainder held by Congolese Wireless Network. The two companies have been in arbitration after disagreeing over fees from the joint venture.

Congolese Wireless Network chairman Alieu Conteh told Reuters last year that Vodacom Congo was worth more than $1.5 billion (R12 billion), a valuation that Vodacom described as “ludicrous” without offering an alternative figure.

No one was immediately available for comment at Vodacom or MTN.

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