Rocket Internet Sells Half of its Middle East Ventures to MTN Group for $400 Million

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MTN_Logo_onlyThsi morning we have learned that  Rocket Internet has sold half of its Middle East ventures  operating under the Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH) to MTN for EUR 300 million, this deal comes just days after MTN bought one-third of  Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular’s Africa ventures registered as Africa Internet Holding (AIH).

The EUR 300 million is the total amount MTN has used to purchase both a third of AIH and 50% of MEIH. The two expect to launch and run successful Internet ventures in the Middle East.MEIH already operates Easytaxi and Lamudi, Hellofood and Namshi in United Arab Emirates, Saudi-Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.According to Oliver Samwer, co-founder of Rocket Internet the strategic partnership between MTN and Rocket Internet is going to accelerate the online shift in the Middle East.”With joint forces, Middle East Internet Holding will develop its already existing ventures even better and will launch new companies even faster and more successfully.”

The deal brings together Rocket Internet’s expertise in developing successful global internet business models, and MTN’s leadership position and unique knowledge of the local telecom markets. MTN will invest approximately EUR300million over the next two to four years into AIH and MEIH.

“The agreement with Rocket marks yet another important milestone in our journey of pursuing digital business adjacencies as one of our key strategic priorities, to drive growth and value for our customers,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and CEO.

“Through MEIH, MTN and Rocket aim to accelerate and further develop the nascent e-commerce market in the Middle East region,” added Dabengwa.

Analysits say with its money, MTN is just going into deals into will regret as Rocket Internet is after a quick exit. they add that the berlin-based incubator is looking at reducing its risks and probably invest in more ventures elsewhere or at home than in in emerging markets, however this might not be so as Rocket Internet was the first to invest in emerging markets hence influencing others to join the chariot.

Tell us what do you think of Rocket Internet and MTN’s new-found friendship in the comments section.



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