MTN to plow R2.4 billion into e-commerce venture

MTN says it expects to invest approximately R2.4 billion (EUR168 million) over the next two to four years into Africa Internet Holding (AIH).

MTN acquired 33.3% OF AIH, a joint venture between Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, to develop internet businesses in Africa.

Sites within the AIH Holding stable includes, online clothing retailer, Zando; online-only peer-to-peer lender, Lendico; HelloFood; e-commerce site, Jumia; and hotel booking platform, Jovago.com.

MTN noted that it, along with Millicom International Cellular and Rocket International, have become 33,3% shareholders in AIH.

The transaction closed on 1 July 2014, “and various operations have identified areas of co-operation. Reviews are being  conducted to select appropriate launch windows,” MTN said.

“The Group expects to invest approximately EUR168 million over the next two to four years into AIH,” MTN said.

MTN noted that it has launched a joint venture with Rocket Internet called Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH), to develop internet businesses in the Middle East, with the Group and Rocket Internet being 50% shareholders in MEIH.

MTN said it invested EUR120 million (R1.72 billion) consisting of a EUR40 million cash payment and EUR80 million contingent consideration into MEIH, while the transaction closed on 20 May 2014.

MTN also acquired an interest in Bidu, an online insurance price comparison and brokerage provider in Brazil, through the venture capital fund,  Amadeus Digital Prosperity Fund IV.

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MTN to plow R2.4 billion into e-commerce venture