Airtel Africa on Thursday announced the signing of an agreement under which global payments technology major Mastercard will invest $100 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airtel Africa Plc.
AMC BV is currently the holding company for several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations. It 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, Airtel Africa said in a statement.
Mastercard will hold a minority stake in AMC BV upon completion of the transaction, with Airtel Africa continuing to hold the majority stake.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including necessary regulatory filings and approvals, and the transfer of specified mobile money business assets and contracts into AMC BV.
Alongside the investment, the Group and Mastercard have extended commercial agreements and signed a new commercial framework which will deepen their partnerships across numerous geographies and areas including card issuance, payment gateway, payment processing, merchant acceptance and remittance solutions, amongst others.
Following the announcement on March 18 of $200 million investment in AMC BV by TPG’s The Rise Fund, and the sale of the Group’s telecommunication towers companies in Madagascar and Malawi on March 23, the transaction is a continuation of the Group’s pursuit of strategic asset monetisation and investment opportunities.
As previously announced, Airtel Africa aims to continue to monetise its mobile money business with minority investments up to a total of 25 per cent of the issued share capital of AMC BV, and to explore the potential listing of the mobile money business within four years, it said.
The proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.