Africa

$231m loan to African phone tower group assigned by MTN

 

On Thursday, MTN Group said in Johannesburg that 231 million dollars shareholder loan has been assigned to phone tower group, IHS Holding Ltd. to shore its 2017 profits.

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The loan, which was due in 2024/2025, would 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 Holding Ltd. is a mobile communications infrastructure company accelerating the development of Africa’s fast-growing information economy. It has its headquarters in Lagos and has regional offices in Abuja, Ibadan, Enugu, Asaba, Kano, among others.

MTN said in a statement that the agreement would enable MTN and IHS to mutually benefit from continued investment and commitment to the rollout of broadband and data services in Nigeria.

MTN said the assignment of the loan to IHS would lead to a loss of 2.8 billion rand (228 million dollars) 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 returned to line of profit in the first half of its financial year in the absence of one-off charges related to a 1.1 billion dollars Nigerian fine.

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