LONDON, UK: Qatar Holding LLC, an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has agreed a minority stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV) for $200 million, which values Airtel Africa’s mobile money business at $2.65 billion.
Airtel Africa has signed an agreement under which Qatar Holding LLC, an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), will invest $200 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), a subsidiary of Airtel Africa plc, a news release said.
Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV) is the holding company for several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations; and ultimately is 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. QIA will hold a minority stake in AMC BV upon completion of the transaction (alongside other minority investors), with Airtel Africa continuing to hold the majority stake.
Following the announcement on 18 March 2021 of a $200m investment in AMC BV by TPG’s The Rise Fund, on 1 April 2021 of a $100m investment in AMC BV by MasterCard and the sale of the Group’s telecommunication towers companies in Madagascar and Malawi on 23 March 2021, the transaction is a continuation of Airtel 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 proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce Group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.
Operating under the Airtel Money brand, Airtel Africa’s mobile money services is a leading digital mobile financial services platform catering to a large addressable market in Africa (characterised by limited access to formal financial institutions with limited banking infrastructure) and includes mobile wallet deposit and withdrawals, merchant and commercial payments, benefits transfers, loans and savings, virtual card and international money transfers.
Mobile money services are available across the Group’s 14 countries of operation, however in Nigeria the Group offers Airtel Money services through a partnership with a local bank and has applied for its own mobile banking licence. It is the intention that all mobile money operations will be owned and operated by AMC BV.