MTN Group Values Mobile-Money Arm at $5 Billion, Considers IPO

MTN Group Ltd is valuing its mobile-money arm at about $5 billion, joining African wireless carriers planning to list these businesses in a region that has more mobile-money accounts than anywhere else in the world.

MTN’s valuation of its unit follows Mastercard Inc. and TPG Holdings LP investing $300 million in Airtel Africa’s mobile-money business at a $2.65 billion value.

“With similar valuations to that of Airtel, our valuation would sit at 75 billion rand, or about $5 billion,” said MTN Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita. “No decision has been made as yet, but listing will be an option considered if that will be the best approach to unlock value.”

Johannesburg-listed MTN has previously said it was looking to spin off its fintech business.

Mobile money, where users store and manage cash in an account linked to a mobile phone, is one of the fastest-growing sources of income for wireless-network operators like MTN and Vodafone Group. Sub-Saharan Africa, which struggles with limited banking infrastructure, has more mobile-money accounts than anywhere else in the world, with about 548 million at the end of 2020, or 54% of all customers, according to the GSMA, the global mobile-operator industry group.


Adopted from Bloomberg