MTN Group increases Rwanda stake

7 October 2011

Pan-African mobile operator MTN has increased its stake in MTN Rwanda after acquiring an additional combined 25% stake in the company from Crystal Ventures and the government of Rwanda for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction, which was concluded in Kigali last week and brokered by Renaissance Capital, saw the MTN Group increase its ownership in MTN Rwanda from 55% to 80%. Crystal Ventures retains a 20% stake in the company and will remain an active minority shareholder.

“Our increased investment in MTN Rwanda demonstrates our strong commitment to Rwanda and the broader East African region,” MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa said in a statement this week. “We look forward to many more years of operating in Rwanda in partnership with Crystal Ventures.”

Crystal Ventures is a leading private investment company in Rwanda with a diversified portfolio of investments across many sectors including real estate development, beverage processing, security services, road construction and telecommunications.

“We have held our investment in MTN Rwanda since its inception 13 years ago and together created the foremost telecommunications company in Rwanda with more than 2.7-million subscribers,” said Crystal Ventures chairman Nshuti Manasseh.

He said that following a partial divestment in 2007, the current transaction provided another opportunity for Crystal Ventures to redeploy capital in other sectors of the Rwandan economy.

“As we remain a significant shareholder in MTN Rwanda, we look forward to working with MTN Group to ensure the continued growth of the company,” he said.

Rwanda Finance Minister John Rwangomba said that since 1998, MTN had been an excellent investment for the government and had helped Rwanda to achieve its objective of growing and developing the telecommunication industry in the country.

“[The] government has for some time now indicated its desire to no longer participate in the sector as an investor,” he said. “We are pleased that we have been able to reach agreement with MTN on the terms of our exit.”

SAinfo reporter

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