The Group said it expects to invest approximately EUR168 million over the next two to four years into AIH after the 33.3% transaction closed July 1 2014.
With 33,3% of Africa Internet Holding (AIH), MTN Group has the same standing as Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular on running Hellofood, Kaymu, Lamudi, Carmido, Easy Taxi and Jovago among others to build e-commerce in Africa.
Also last year, the Group also entered into an equal partnership with Rocket Internet to form the Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH), to develop internet businesses in the Middle East, with the Group and Rocket Internet being 50% shareholders in MEIH. The Group invested EUR120 million consisting of a EUR40 million cash payment and EUR80 million contingent consideration into MEIH and the transaction closed on 20 May 2014.
According to MTN Group President and CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa speaking on the release of the group’s interim results for the last months ended June 30, “We continue to explore opportunities to expand our product offering outside of traditional voice and expect to increase our presence in the digital space by leveraging technology and maximising the opportunity of low internet penetration in many of our markets. The successful completion of the transactions with Africa Internet Holding (AIH) and Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH) positions the Group well to broaden our e-commerce platform and lifestyle offerings. Furthermore, we are well placed to continue the expansion of our MTN Mobile Money and broader financial services offerings and grow our innovative ICT solutions to corporate and SME customers. We will continue to explore value-accretive M&A opportunities in line with our strategy.
The firm also acquired 50% and one share of Afrihost, an ISP expected to give it access to a huge client base in both the SME and corporate segments in addition to hosting and ISP best practices.