MTN Group has transferred its majority 82.8% shareholding in MTN Yemen to Emerald International Investment, thereby exiting the market.
Emerald is a subsidiary of Zubair Investment Center - an affiliate of Zubair Corporation - which is the minority shareholder in MTN Yemen. The unit has 4.7 million subscribers and employs 719 people.
In August 2020, South Africa-headquartered MTN Group announced plans to exit several Asian markets - including Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan – over the medium term in order to strengthen its focus on its core African markets. In a press release, MTN described the move as furthering the delivery of its Ambition 2025 strategy of simplifying its portfolio and reducing risk.
“The decision to exit Yemen was driven by a need to simplify the portfolio and focus our limited resources on executing a pan-African strategy,” said MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita. The group has emphasised its desire for a clean exit from both Yemen and Afghanistan after it clashed with authorities in Syria over the sale of its local unit.
MTN noted that its Yemeni unit contributed 0.3% to MTN Group EBITDA for the first half of 2021, and that the unit’s 2G licence is due for renewal at the end of 2021.