MTN Seeking To Conclude US$65-million Sale Of Syrian Business
Africa's telecom giant, MTN, has announced that it is still moving forward with closing the sale deal on the 75% ownership it has in MTN Syria, even as that business is already under judicial custody (guardianship).
Authorities in the Syrian capital, Damascus, said it had placed the company under judicial guardianship, as per the country's law, and because the company has violated its license. MTN says this is not correct and will appeal the case.
Regardless of the Syrian business's current legal situation, a spokesperson for MTN is reported to have confirmed that the South African-based company still wishes to exit the business in Syria by selling its 75% stake reportedly worth ZAR1-billion (US$65-million). She said: "MTN Group is still committed to executing on the agreed transaction with TeleInvest to dispose of its 75% shareholding and loans for a consideration of $65-million in total."
TeleInvest is currently MTN Syria's minority shareholder and is said to be in line to buy out the majority shareholding held by MTN, which would enable the Africa's telecom behemoth to realise its plans to leave the Middle East market. It is said that MTN Syria has contributed less than 1% to MTN Group's profit.