Crystal Ventures has partially exited its Rwanda-based telecommunications company, MTN Rwanda, selling an estimated 15% of its stake to existing shareholder MTN Group.
The MTN group has collectively bought 25% of the company from Crystal Ventures and the Government of Rwanda in a transaction that sees the government fully exit the company. Following the sale, MTN Group will hold 80% of its subsidiary, from its previous 55%. Crystal Ventures will retain a 20% interest. Renaissance Capital was the corporate finance advisor on the deal.
Crystal Ventures first backed the company in 1998, while the investor was still called Tri-Star Investments, buying an estimated 64%. At the time MTN Group took 26%, while the government of Rwanda, through the then parastatal Rwandatel, took the rest. Crystal Ventures has progressively transferred holdings to MTN Group, the most recent being a 15% sale in 2007.
“Following our partial divestment in 2007, this further partial divestment provides another opportunity for Crystal Ventures to redeploy capital in other sectors of the Rwandan economy,” said Crystal Ventures chairman Nshuti Manasseh. “As we remain a significant shareholder in MTN Rwanda, we look forward to working with MTN Group to ensure the continued growth of the company.”
MTN Rwanda was awarded a national Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) licence in April 1998, launching MTN’s expansion outside South Africa. Based in Kigali, the company has over 2.7 million subscribers and its network coverage extends to over 98% of the country’s population.
Crystal Ventures is a private investment group, owned by a number of indigenous Rwanda-based investors. The company invests in sectors that offer high yield expectations and add social value to communities.