MTN Nigeria reportedly agreed to acquire CDMA provider Visafone, following months of negotiations.
MTN, Nigeria’s largest player, was apparently close to sealing the deal for Visafone back in April last year, as it looked to strengthen its hold on the country’s market.
Several news outlets, including Bloomberg, cited a statement from MTN executive Amina Oyagbola, confirming the company has now struck a deal, without disclosing terms. No official statement has yet been released.
Oyagbola said MTN will aim to use Visafone to improve the quality of broadband services for subscribers, and deepen the rollout of broadband across the country. The acquisition will also be used to drive mobile data services.
“The acquisition of Visafone highlights MTN’s commitment to Nigeria,” said Oyagbola. “More capacity will facilitate enhanced product/service offerings and experience in the data space to the delight of our valued customers.”
Visafone, which offers fixed wireless services in addition to its mobile offering, was established in 2008 by business tycoon Jim Ovia.
News of the deal comes as MTN still waits on a local court hearing over its pending $3.9 billion fine in the country.
The company is embroiled in a row with Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, which initially ordered it to pay $5.2 billion for failing to cut off unregistered SIM cards on its network in the country, before reducing the fine by 25 per cent. MTN then decided to take the issue to a Lagos court.