Investment

MCB Equity Fund, the private equity arm of MCB Group, partners with Metier-led consortium to invest USD 36 million in Africa Mobile Networks Ltd

05 Aug 2021

MCB Equity Fund, the private equity arm of MCB Group, the largest banking group in Mauritius, is pleased to announce the acquisition of a minority stake in Africa Mobile Networks Ltd (“AMN”) as part of a consortium led by Metier, an independent African private equity manager.

The consortium, which includes CDC Group (the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (Germany's development finance institution), Proparco (the private sector arm of the French Development Agency) and other leading institutions, has invested USD 36 million into AMN. As part of the transaction, the consortium is also acquiring USD 3.5 million of existing shares and in total will own a significant minority shareholding in AMN.
 
AMN builds and operates mobile network base stations in partnership with tier-1 licensed mobile network operators such as MTN, Orange and Vodafone to extend their rural coverage. AMN provides a full turnkey NaaS (“Network as a Service”) approach to enable mobile network operators in Sub-Saharan Africa to expand their coverage deep into rural areas with no capital expenditure or operating equipment risk borne by the mobile operators in these remote locations. AMN currently operates circa 2,000 mobile network base stations in rural towns and villages across 10 countries, serving around 7 million people who were previously unconnected and processing 1.2 billion phone calls per annum.
 
AMN is currently the 5th largest independent tower company operating in Africa, and is growing rapidly. Following a 2020 acquisition of communications technology vendor Range Networks, based in Silicon Valley, California, AMN has also become an original equipment manufacturer and recently deployed its own OpenRAN based equipment, which is capable of offering integrated 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G services from a single radio node.
 
The proceeds of the new growth equity will be used to fund AMN’s business from the current level to over 5,000 towers across more than 15 countries by the end of 2023.
 
Rony Lam, Chief Executive Officer of MCB Capital Markets, said: "We are delighted to join this impressive group of investors in an important funding round for AMN. The company is a leader in connecting rural areas through mobile telecommunication, a critical enabler for mobilising resources and unlocking the full potential of remote communities. We look forward to supporting Metier and management in the company's next phase of development." 

Thierry Dalais, Chairman of Metier, said “The AMN leadership team and its stakeholders have created an exceptional business. That we are able to assemble and lead a first class set of investors to bring more telecommunication connectivity to the unconnected at an affordable price, is doing good in our view. The AMN business today is evidence of great entrepreneurship, systems engineering skills, on the ground logistical execution capabilities, supported by the deep investment already made by others in telecommunication network connectivity industries. We wish the AMN leadership and management team continued support from its customers, and to AMN’s now enlarged stakeholder group, good long term returns.” 

Michael Darcy, Chief Executive Officer of AMN, said: “We are delighted to receive this significant new round of capital to fund the next phase of AMN’s growth and from such a prestigious partner as Metier, with its long track record of strong values and strong financial returns, backed by some of the world’s biggest development finance institutions. Working together with such heavyweight investors enables AMN to take a huge step forward in building many, many tens of thousands of towers across most of sub-Saharan Africa to connect and empower hundreds of millions of Africans who are disenfranchised today”.
 
 
About MCB Equity Fund
 
MCB Equity Fund is the private equity arm of MCB Group, the largest banking institution in Mauritius and sole shareholder of the fund. An evergreen fund with a committed capital of USD 100 million, MCB Equity Fund provides equity and quasi equity to established and fast growing businesses across Africa. The fund is managed by MCB Capital Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of MCB Capital Markets.
Our investment team focuses on maximizing returns on invested capital and developing a network of like-minded investors. We take minority stakes alongside a range of international partners, including Development Financial Institutions, family offices, private equity firms and corporates, and work with them in identifying attractive investment opportunities and creating value.
 
For more information, please visit www.mcbcm.mu and www.mcbgroup.com

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