MTN To Sell Stakes In BICS - Deal Will Raise US$130 Million
MTN Group (Africa's most prominent telecommunications operator) has announced it is in the throes of finalising the deal that would see it sell-off its twenty per cent shareholding a Belgian telecommunication outfit called Belgacom International Carrier Services SA (BICS). The transaction, once completed, will mean MTN will fully exit its holding in the Belgian company. The deal is expected to add 1.8 billion Rands (US$130 Million) in cash to the company's coffers, and it is expected to use the funds to pay down its dollar debt.
It is believed that Proximus NV/SA is buying the MTN's shares in BICS. It should, however, be noted that the timing for the closing of the sale to Proximus will be strictly guided and subject to regulatory approvals in South Africa (MTN's group home country).
A statement from MTN Group said that the sale "The sale represents further progress in MTN's stated asset realisation programme (ARP), which aims to reduce debt, simplify its portfolio, reduce risk, improve returns and unlock value." The MTN Group statement confirms it now looks to post a profit due to the sale of the BICs holdings.