Friday, 3 May 2013

Nigeria: MTN funds expansion

MTN Nigeria, a major player in Nigeria's telecommunications industry, has received a major boost to its expansion plans following acquisition of a $3 billion ( ? 470 billion) loan facility from a consortium of local and international banks.
The loan will enable MTN to expand, modernise, and improve its network infrastructure. The $3 billion comprises $1.2 billion in an existing restructured local facility and $1.8 billion in additional facilities. The banks involved are Zenith Bank , with ? 55 billion; Guaranty Trust Bank , with ? 40 billion; First Bank , with ? 40 billion; and Access Bank , with ? 35 billion.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held in Lagos on 23 April, MTN CEO Brett Goschen stated that MTN had invested $1.6 billion in 2012 and was looking to invest about $1.5 billion in 2013. The network has been involved in several other similar strategic partnerships with financial institutions, notably a $170 million commercial paper facility secured in 2002 and a $395 million medium-term facility in 2003.
With the introduction of mobile number portability in Nigeria on 22 April and recent complaints from users about the seemingly downward spiral of network quality, subscribers will no doubt be pleased that the company is investing massively in improving its network. Though MTN had undertaken an aggressive PR drive to attract customers wishing to migrate from other networks, some subscribers were sceptical that the network could cope with an influx.
For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.
© 2013 Menas Associates

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