MTN Group Ltd., the South African telecommunications company that’s assembled an emerging-markets mobile empire through acquisitions, is on the hunt for more takeovers. Its biggest obstacle may be domestic politicians.
Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office yesterday as South Africa’s deputy president, agreed to trade his interests in regulated businesses in exchange for stakes in consumer goods companies to avoid conflicts of interest, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
MTN Group Ltd. ’s outgoing Chief Executive Officer Phuthuma Nhleko said he regrets the company’s failure to buy assets of Orascom Telecom Holding SAE and the transaction “still may come back,” the Sunday Times reported.
Afrisam Ltd.’s largest shareholders, including Holcim Ltd., said they oppose a takeover bid by South Africa’s government-owned pension fund manager because it will undermine efforts to redistribute wealth to black investors.
MTN Group Ltd ., Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator, will focus on investor payouts rather than big acquisitions, a “paradigm shift” in strategy after four failed deals, Chief Executive Officer Phuthuma Nhleko said. The stock rose to the highest price in more than three weeks.
MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless operator, bribed officials, arranged meetings between Iranian and South African leaders, and promised Iran weapons and United Nations votes in exchange for a license to provide mobile-phone service in the Islamic Republic, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS alleged in a lawsuit.
Phuthuma Nhleko increased MTN Group Ltd.’s subscribers almost 30-fold during his near-nine year tenure as chief executive officer and pushed the African wireless carrier into countries such as Iran and Syria. As he becomes chairman today, one nation lingers in his mind: India.