MTN Group to sell-off its 20% shares in BICS for $121 million


    South Africa’s MTN Group is selling off its 20% shareholding in Belgacom International Carrier Services SA (BICS) to Belgian state-controlled telecoms firm, Proximus for 1.8 billion rands ($121.41 million).

    According to a news report by Reuters, “MTN is in the midst of a 25 billion rand divestment plan aimed at reducing debt, simplifying its portfolio and improving returns over the next three to five years”.

    Proximus also acquired Swisscom’s shares in the company of 22.4% of issued shares, all adding up to a total transaction value of €569 million, making Proximus the sole shareholder of BICS.

    As a result of this acquisition, BICS will be able to accelerate its growth plans through a combination of organic investments in key domains, a strict focus on cash-flow generation within its core services, and capturing in-market consolidation opportunities.

    Meanwhile, MTN plans to use the proceeds to pay down US dollar debt and for general corporate purposes.

    As of September 30, 2020, MTN Group net debt stood at R60.6 billion but it it is set to make some R1.2 billion on the BICS deal.

    BICS is a global leader in digital communications, cloud communication services, mobility and IoT, and addresses the business-critical needs of telecoms players, virtual network operators, service providers, enterprise software providers, and global enterprises.

    Over the past years, BICS has shown strong growth potential in new business areas such as roaming, IoT, and cloud communication. At the same time, BICS is one of the few players with the critical mass required to realize economies of scale through consolidation in a highly fragmented market.

    Proximus Group (Euronext Brussels: PROX) is a provider of digital services and communication solutions operating in the Belgian and international markets. It delivers communication and entertainment experiences for residential consumers and enabling digital transformation for enterprises.

    Proximus is aggressively aspiring to become the reference operator in Europe through next-generation networks, a truly digital mindset, and a spirit of openness towards partnerships and ecosystems while contributing to a safe, sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous digital Belgium.


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