MTN as­signs $231m share­holder loan to African phone tower group

Zambian Business Times - - BUSINESS REVIEW -

MTN GROUP, Africa’s big­gest mo­bile phone op­er­a­tor, said on 28 De­cem­ber that it had as­signed a $USD231mil­lion share­holder loan to phone tower group, IHS Hold­ing, im­pact­ing its 2017 prof­its.

MTN, which re­turned to profit in the first half of its fi­nan­cial year in the ab­sence of one-off charges re­lated to a $USD1.1 bil­lion Nige­rian fine, said the as­sign­ment of the loan to IHS will lead to a loss of R2.8 bil­lion ($USD228 mil­lion) on trans­fer of the car­ry­ing value of the loan.

The loss on trans­fer will im­pact head­line earn­ings per share (HEPS) for 2017, the main profit mea­sure in South Africa that strips out cer­tain one-off items, but not earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, tax, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­sa­tion (EBITDA), the firm said.

MTN said the loan, which is due in 2024/2025, will al­low its Nige­rian unit to con­tinue to in­vest in its net­work and sim­plify MTN’s in­ter­ests in IHS.

MTN formed a joint ven­ture part­ner­ship with spe­cial­ist tower com­pany IHS in 2014 to own and op­er­ate MTN’s trans­mit­ter tow­ers in Nige­ria.

IHS has op­er­a­tions in Nige­ria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Zam­bia.

“The agree­ment will en­able MTN and IHS to mu­tu­ally ben­e­fit from con­tin­ued in­vest­ment and com­mit­ment to the roll­out of broad­band and data ser­vices in Nige­ria,” MTN said in a state­ment.

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