Shanduka Group Ltd., the South African investment company led by businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, bought a minority stake in MTN Group Ltd. (MTN)’s Nigerian unit in a strategy to tap into faster-growing African markets.
Shanduka acquired a $335 million stake in Nigeria’s largest mobile operator with more than 45.6 million subscribers, it said in a statement. Shanduka said it bought the stake through its Mauritian unit from three private investors including private- equity company African Capital Alliance. MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator, has an effective 78.8 percent of MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd., according to the statement.
The deal is part of a plan to expand on the continent outside South Africa, where growth rates are expected to exceed those in its home market, Shanduka Chief Executive Officer Phuti Mahanyele said yesterday. Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 6.5 percent this year and in 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan said on Oct. 10. The International Monetary Fund expects growth in sub-Saharan Africa to reach 5.7 percent in 2013, while South Africa will probably expand 3 percent, it said on Oct. 9.
“It’s a compelling story for us,” Mahanyele said by phone from Johannesburg. “Nigeria is the biggest telecoms market in Africa, surpassing South Africa. It’s an attractive destination and the density is at such a level that there is the opportunity for growth.”
Shanduka may consider an initial public offering of its stock at an appropriate time, Mahanyele said. The group “is still at the early stages of deciding what portion of the business we would list” and whether it would list the entire company or industry groups, such as its diversified resources investments, she said.
The company’s investments include coal, platinum, property, energy, telecommunications, fast foods and financial services.
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