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MTN to exit Guinea-Bissau, Conakry, cites financial difficulties  

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Ralph Mupita

MTN has signalled a potential departure from Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, and Liberia, as it highlighted numerous challenges in the West and Central Africa region. 

The CEO Ralph Mupita cited inflation and currency devaluation as notable issues across several markets. In Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry, MTN holds a significant portion of the market share, approximately 30%.

However, financial struggles arose in Guinea-Bissau due to a breach of loan covenant stemming from negative EBITDA performance, resulting in a reported loss of R1.69 billion ($89,392,809) in the annual report. 

The decision to exit these markets will allow MTN to focus on stronger markets like Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire in the West and Central Africa region.

These markets collectively contribute 18.6% to the group’s revenue, compared to the 7.3% contribution from other West and Central African countries. 

 In Nigeria, MTN encountered a challenging operating environment marked by increasing inflation, currency devaluation, and foreign exchange shortages, as evidenced in the audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2023. 

Additionally, outside of Africa, MTN divested its entire stake in MTN Afghanistan to Investcom AF and has initiated a six-month transitional services agreement. 

 MTN finalized a share purchase agreement with Telecel, a telecommunications provider, to acquire MTN’s ownership interests in MTN Guinea-Bissau and MTN Guinea-Conakry. 

This deal was stated in MTN’s 2023 financial report and is contingent upon various conditions precedent. 

Telecel was chosen to strategically propel the expansion and advancement of these ventures, fostering technological and economic advancement within these regions. 

The value of the sale remains undisclosed; however, MTN says further updates regarding this transaction will be provided as appropriate. 

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