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Investment firm to sink US$200m in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV

Kampala, Uganda | Julius Businge | Airtel Africa, a telecommunications and mobile money services provider has announced the signing of an agreement under which The Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform of leading alternative investment firm TPG, will invest US$200million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (“AMC BV”), it said on March 18 in a statement.

Airtel has a presence in 14 countries across Africa. AMC BV is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airtel Africa plc (the “Transaction”). AMC BV is currently the holding company for several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations, and is now intended to own and operate the mobile money businesses across all of Airtel Africa’s fourteen operating countries.

The transaction values Airtel Africa’s mobile money business at $2.65 billion on a cash and debt free basis.

The Rise Fund will hold a minority stake in AMC BV upon completion of the transaction, with Airtel Africa continuing to hold the remaining majority stake.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including necessary regulatory filings and approvals, as necessary, and the inclusion of specified mobile money business assets and contracts into AMC BV.

The transaction is the latest step in the group’s pursuit of strategic asset monetization and investment opportunities, and it is the aim of Airtel Africa to explore the potential listing of the mobile money business within four years, the statement says.

The group is in discussions with other potential investors in relation to possible further minority investments into Airtel Money, up to a total of 25% of the issued share capital of AMC BV.

“There can be no certainty that a transaction will be concluded or as to the final terms of any transactions. The proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries,” the statement reads in part.

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