JOHANNESBURG May 8 South Africa's MTN Group
has agreed to invest more than $295 million in Iranian
Net, a fixed line broadband network in which it is to buy an
initial 49 percent stake.
The outline deal announced on Monday extends MTN's interests
in the Iranian telecoms market that has opened up to foreigners
following the lifting of international sanctions, which has also
allowed MTN to repatriate $1 billion in accumulated dividends
from its 49 percent stake in wireless network operator Irancell.
The latest agreement, which is still at a non-binding stage,
is the second for MTN in Iran this year after Africa's biggest
wireless networks group invested in Iran Internet Group, which
runs a car hailing app called Snapp.ir.
MTN said it will pay 540 million rand ($40 million) to buy a
49 percent stake in Iranian Net and will invest an additional
3.4 billion rand in both equity and loans to help the Iranian
company develop a fibre network over the next five years.
"This investment, should it be completed, represents an
opportunity to capitalise on the continued strong growth
expected in the Iranian broadband market, with an initial focus
on eight of the main cities," MTN said in a statement.
($1 = 13.5535 rand)
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Jason Neely, Greg