MTN will pay $5.53bn to buy Investcom in a deal destined to create the biggest mobile telecoms operator in Africa and the Middle East.
Investcom is the dominant player in Africa alongside Vodafone's Vodacom and MTN is the leader in the Middle East. The merged company's enterprise value will be just short of $25bn.
MTN is now one of the most interesting independent mobile operator assets in the world - and every mobile phone group with international apsirations is keen to develop new businesses in developing markets. What better than the Middle East and Africa where mobile phone penetration is less than 10%.
MTN could provide a fascinating acquisition for the likes of Telefonica or maybe even a SingTel.