MTN dumps its 50% ownership share in Afrihost

Mobile operator MTN announced today (Friday) that it will be getting rid of its 50% stake in internet service provider Afrihost.

MTN bought the 50.02% share in Afrihost in 2014 for R408 million, effectively making it the owner of Afrihost, but the ISP has been plagued with complaints of bad service since the deal passed.

The mobile provider explained that the disposal of the stake is “in line with its strategy of focusing on core business and pursuing opportunities in relevant adjacent businesses,” in a media statement.

While it only made the announcement today, the move is still subject regulatory clearances and Competition Commission approval.

Giving a reason for the selling off of shares, MTN explained that “evolving market circumstances” spurred the move, which led to MTN “reviewing its ownership in Afrihost.”

Mteto Nyati, MTN SA Chief Executive Officer, commented that this will give both parties the opportunity to get back to basics and focus on what is core to each business.

“The deal is in line with MTN’s strategy of focusing on core business while exploring relevant adjacent growth opportunities. The conclusion of this transaction will go a long way towards streamlining our operations. As MTN we would like to wish Afrihost well in their business,” said Nyati.

Afrihost’s Chief Executive Officer Gian Visser echoed the same sentiment.

“We have enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with MTN over the years and we are grateful for everything they have done for us. MTN will remain a key supplier of ours, and we look forward to continue working with them for the years ahead,” he said.

MTN added that it doesn’t foresee the split to have any major impact on impact on its customers.

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