MTN denied reports it is looking to sell shares in African online retailer Jumia or is considering an IPO of the business in the US as part of efforts to reduce debt.
The South Africa-based operator holds a 40 per cent stake in Jumia. Sources told Bloomberg the company valued the retail operation at $1 billion and that other investors in the company, including Germany-based Rocket Internet, were also open to selling stock.
Bloomberg stated MTN was also considering a private sale of Jumia shares to new investors.
However, a representative told the news agency MTN “currently has no plans to dispose of its investment in Jumia in the short term”.
Jumia operates in 14 African countries, and has expanded its range of services to include platforms for online hotel bookings and food delivery.
Despite denying any plans to offload the business in the near-term, a successful listing could help MTN reduce debt, which stood at ZAR69.8 billion ($4.8 billion) at end-June.Subscribe to our daily newsletter