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MTN, Millicom and Rocket Internet to split stakes in AIH

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
Africa , 16 Dec 2013

MTN, Millicom and Rocket Internet to split stakes in AIH

Major African mobile operators and internet businesses have teamed up to set up a unit to drive e-commerce in Africa.

In a press statement, mobile operator MTN says it has partnered with online incubator Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular to develop internet businesses in Africa through what is called Africa Internet Holding (AIH).

MTN, Millicom and Rocket Internet will each become 33.3% shareholders in AIH, which is planned to be “an exclusive vehicle to develop e-commerce businesses across the continent.”

Founded in 2012 as a joint venture between Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, AIH has a presence in 13 countries on the continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The company has helped developed e-commerce ventures in the last 18 months that include the likes of Jumia, Zando, Kaymu, Jovago, Lamudi, Carmudi and Hellofood.

The investment, though, is subject to regulatory approval, and the transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014.

“We are excited to engage in a strategic partnership with Rocket Internet and Millicom to develop online ventures across the fast growing internet markets of Africa,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN group president and chief executive officer.

Commenting on the deal, Millicom president and CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht said:
“We are pleased to welcome MTN as a strategic partner to accelerate the growth of our online alliance in Africa. It is a significant vote of confidence in its future. Between us we have more than 220 million mobile customers in the continent with very limited overlap. MTN is the leader in Nigeria and South Africa, the largest markets for AIH currently, while Millicom contributes through its leading positions in our markets, combined with one of the most innovative product offerings.”

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