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Airtel wants to sell stake in mobile money service

London listed firm Airtel Africa PLC is seeking to sell a minority stake in Airtel Money, its mobile financial services platform, in a bid to raise cash.

Telecoms multinational Airtel Africa PLC, with operations in 14 African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, wants to sell a minority stake in Airtel Money, its mobile financial services platform. The telco says the move is part of a strategy of selling some assets.

The firm in a trading update said: “We are actively pursuing the sale of the remaining owned tower sites that sit across several of our operating countries and the group is in discussions with various potential investors in relation to possible minority investments into Airtel Money. Discussions are ongoing between the parties and there can be no certainty that a transaction will be concluded or as to the final terms of any transaction.”

There was no indication of the amount of cash the company would raise from the proposed deal.

Airtel Money Services. Image Source: Techtrends Zambia

Airtel Money’s earnings in the 14 African markets stood at $291 million in the nine months ended December.

This represented a 34.2 percent growth in constant currency terms from $228 million a year earlier. Also, over the same period, the value of transactions on the platform rose to $33.4 billion from $23.3 billion.

According to the multinational, “Our mobile money customer base reached 21.5 million, up 29 percent over the previous period, with Airtel Money customers now representing 18 percent of our total customers, an increase of 2.5 percentage points, Mobile money average revenue per user (ARPU) was up 5.1 percent to $1.7, driven by the increase in transaction values and a higher contribution from merchant payments, cash out, person-to-person transfer and recharge of mobile services through Airtel Money.”