South African mobile operator MTN has paid $3.6 billion in cash to the shareholders of Investcom in one of the biggest payments made by a South African company for foreign assets said the group on Monday.
The cash and shares deal, which transfers Beirut-based Investcom assets to MTN, was agreed to by 99.5 percent of the acquiring companyâ€™s shareholders.
MTN will list 183.2 million shares in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Tuesday to cover the rest of the non-cash payments to Investcom shareholders.
The total amount agreed upon is $5.53 billion.
This represents one of the largest ever payments by a South African company for international assets and indicates the MTN Group's confidence in the future of telecommunications in emerging markets, MTN said in a statement.
The acquisition by MTN will make the group the second-largest cell phone operator in Africa and the Middle East and allowing them to have easier access into high-growth markets.
The statement confirmed the integration between the two companies had begun.
MTN is one of Africaâ€™s fastest growing telecommunications networks, with branches set up in South Africa, Uganda, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Swaziland.
MTN bought a 49 percent stake in Iranâ€™s second largest mobile company Iran Cell last year in October, making this the first time MTN expanded outside of Africa.