MTN Group agreed a deal to sell a stake in its fintech business to Mastercard for an undisclosed sum, in line with the operator’s long-term goal of raising cash from asset sales and its financial services platform.
In its H1 earnings announcement, the South Africa-based company stated it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mastercard for the latter to make a minority investment into its fintech business, based on an enterprise valuation of around $5.2 billion.
MTN previously targeted a valuation of between $5 billion and $6 billion for the unit.
Ralph Mupita, CEO of MTN, said it chose MasterCard following a bespoke process to identify potential minority investors for the unit and it expects to sign a definitive agreement in the very near-term, following customary due diligence.
Mastercard has also invested $100 million in MTN rival Airtel Africa’s mobile money unit.
For MTN, the sale complements its Ambition 2025 project unveiled two years ago, which outlined a strategic repositioning to separate infrastructure assets and platforms like fintech to attract third party capital, investments and partnerships.
In H1, the company booked service revenue of ZAR107.7 billion ($5.7 billion), a 16.5 per cent increase year-on-year, fuelled by gains in data and its fintech business.
Nigeria was a strong performer, with service revenue up 24 per cent to ZAR43.6 billion.
Growth in South Africa was more modest, up 1.9 per cent to ZAR20.4 billion.
Subscribers increased 3.6 per cent to 291.7 million, although mobile money customers remained at 60.5 million.
Mobile money transactions increased 61.6 per cent to $135.2 billion.
The company did not reveal full group revenue, net income or quarterly numbers.