MTN exits Yemen as it withdraws from the Middle East

MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita

MTN Group has exited its investment in Yemen. Its departure from the troubled country is line with its strategy to leave the Middle East and focus on its investments in Africa.

“Effective 17 November 2021, MTN Group transferred our majority shareholding in MTN Yemen to Emerald International Investment. Emerald is a subsidiary of Zubair Investment Center, an affiliate of Zubair Corporation, which is the minority shareholder in MTN Yemen,” the group said in a statement.

“The decision to exit Yemen was driven by a need to simplify the portfolio and focus our limited resources on executing a pan-African strategy,” said MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita.

“We would like to thank the 719 employees of MTN Yemen for their commitment over the years, and the 4.7 million subscribers of MTN Yemen for their custom and trust in the brand. We wish Emerald well in the next phase of development of this business as they work with the team that served MTN well over the years.”

In the first half of 2021, MTN Yemen contributed 0.3% to MTN Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. MTN Group held 82.8% of the shares in MTN Yemen, whose operating licence for its 2G network is due for renewal at the end of 2021.

The exit from the Yemeni market comes just months after MTN pulled the plug on its operation in war-torn Syria after it lost control of the business. It booked a loss of R4.7-billion on the “deconsolidation” of the subsidiary.

Mupita told TechCentral in an interview in August that operating in the troubled Middle Eastern country had become “intolerable”.  – © 2021 NewsCentral Media