MTN shop, Morningside, Sandton. Picture: ROBERT TSHABALALA
MTN shop, Morningside, Sandton. Picture: ROBERT TSHABALALA

MTN’s share price fell 2% to R133 on Thursday morning after it warned that a R6bn profit from a deal with cellphone tower operator IHS would be cut by R2.8bn.

MTN said the R6bn profit it had booked in its interim results from the deal had been reduced to R3.2bn by a R2.8bn loan agreement in the second half of its financial year.

In February, MTN exchanged cellphone towers it owned in Nigeria in a partnership with IHS, called Interco, for a 29% stake in an enlarged IHS. This deal included a $231m (about R2.8bn) shareholder loan which MTN said had now been assigned to IHS.

"The combination of the profit from the exchange of Interco shares for IHS shares in the first half of the 2017 financial year and the loss on assignment of the shareholder loan in the second half of the year has a combined positive impact of R3.2bn to earnings in 2017," Thursday’s statement said.

MTN’s financial year ends in December and it releases its results in early March.

As part of the deal, IHS "has facilitated certain network volume commitments and provided more attractive terms for MTN Nigeria’s future network roll-out applicable from 2018 onwards", the statement said.

"The agreement allows MTN Nigeria to continue to invest in its network more efficiently, and further simplifies MTN’s interests in IHS.

"The agreement will enable MTN and IHS to mutually benefit from continued investment and commitment to the roll-out of broadband and data services in Nigeria," MTN said.