MTN dumps its 50% stake in Afrihost

MTN logo. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
MTN logo. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Local mobile network MTN plans to dispose of its 50.02% shareholding in internet service provider Afrihost.

MTN acquired its stake in Afrihost in 2014 for R408m in a bid to expand its internet service offerings.

But the deal took a turn last year amid murmurings from MTN South Africa that it did not want to keep providing data to Afrihost at below cost.

Amid the MTN purchase, Afrihost also experienced network service problems with the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) having ruled last year that Afrihost advertised services beyond its technical capabilities.

Mteto Nyati, MTN SA CEO, said in a statement that the disposal would “allow both parties to focus their attention on their core businesses.”

“The deal is in line with MTN’s strategy of focusing on core business while exploring relevant adjacent growth opportunities,” said Nyati.

“The conclusion of this transaction will go a long way towards streamlining our operations” said Nyati.

Meanwhile, Afrihost’s CEO, Gian Visser, said the supplier relationship with MTN will remain.

“MTN will remain a key supplier of ours, and we look forward to continue working with them for the years ahead,” said Visser.

MTN's decision to dispose of its stake in Afrihost still has to be approved by regulators.

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