MTN sells its stake in BICS

The group is selling its shareholding in Belgacom International Carrier Services SA for R1.8 billion.

MTN is selling its 20 percent shareholding in Belgacom International Carrier Services SA to Proximus NV/SA for R1.8 billion. The completion of the sale depends on customary regulatory approvals.

Once approvals are completed, MTN says it will use the proceeds of the sale to pay off some of its US dollar debt and for general corporate purposes. The sale forms part of the telecoms giant's stated asset realisation programme, which aims to reduce debt, simplify its portfolio, reduce risk and unlock value.

MTN will record a R1.2 billion profit from the sale during the first half of 2021, mainly due to the release of the foreign currency translation reserve. The profits result in a net impact of R812 million over the two periods.

The BICS stake was classified as a non-current asset held for sale, and the transaction brought about a remeasurement of its carrying value, resulting in a reduction of R397 million for the December 2020 year-end.