MTN sketches out how it plans to exit Middle East and says no imminent exit from MTN Irancell planned

By bne IntelIiNews August 11, 2020

South Africa-based MTN Group and its partly owned subsidiary MTN Irancell have sketched out details on the group’s planned exit from the Middle East, explaining that the offloading of the operations in Iran will take place over a timespan across the next three to five years, Mobile World Live reported on August 11.

In a cited statement, the businesses dismissed media reports suggesting an imminent exit from Iran, adding that their customer base “could rely on continuing to receive the great service they have come to expect”.

The group reportedly said its collaboration with MTN Irancell would therefore continue unaffected and the business “will be run as usual”.

MTN also noted it planned to dispose of its units in the Middle East “in an orderly manner over the medium term”, with initial moves planned for operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

The group, Africa’s largest mobile operator, owns 49% in MTN Irancell. It is the second largest mobile operator in Iran with 47mn connections in Q2, figures from GSMA Intelligence showed.

Outgoing MTN CEO Rob Shuter announced last week that the group had decided it would be best served by focusing on its pan-Africa strategy.

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