MTN denies Jumia stake sale, appoints new COO for Nigeria

by Daily Trust

Telecommunication giant, MTN, has denied a report that it is looking to sell shares in African online retailer, Jumia, or is considering an IPO of the business in the United States (US) as part of effort to reduce debt.

The South Africa-based operator holds a 40 per cent stake in Jumia.

Sources told Bloomberg that the company valued the retail operation at $1bn and that other investors in the company, including Germany-based Rocket Internet, were also open to selling stock.

Bloomberg stated that MTN was also considering a private sale of Jumia shares to new investors.

However, a representative told the news agency that 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 69.8 billion rand ($4.8bn) at end of June.

Meanwhile, the telecom company has announced the appointment of Mazen Mroue as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective Monday, August 6, 2018.

In his new role, Mazen will provide leadership and direction to the commercial and technical functions of MTN Nigeria.

Commenting on the change, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said, “Mazen brings a track record of achievements and a wealth of experience to the team, drawn from telecoms markets across Africa and the Middle East.”

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