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Emerging Capital Partners exits MTN Côte d’Ivoire

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) has exited its investment in MTN Côte d’Ivoire (MTNCI), a mobile network operator in Ivory Coast, through Planor Capital International (PCI).

Planor Capital International is a Mauritian investment vehicle and is the second largest shareholder in MTNCI. The investment delivered a cash multiple of 2.6x on exit, returning over USD80m in capital.
 
MTNCI – a subsidiary of South Africa-based MTN – provides fixed line, mobile and internet services to over 6.5 million subscribers, capitalising on the telecommunications sector’s growth, which is underpinned by the rising trend for data provision and a diverse product base, such as mobile money.
 
ECP’s initial investment was made in 2007. During the holding period, ECP contributed to steering the board and facilitated the introduction of MTNCI to other potential partners.
 
Brice Lodugnon, director in the Abidjan office at Emerging Capital Partners, says: “Throughout our history, ECP has made six successful investments and exits in Africa’s high-growth mobile telecommunications sector. The success shown by MTNCI over the holding period continues this trend and demonstrates the growth and resiliency of the sector. This is particularly true given the global financial crisis and the Ivorian political conflict, which both occurred during the investment holding period. For this, we congratulate the management team.”  
 
Appolinaire Compaoré, chairman of PCI, says: “We are very grateful for the support and guidance ECP has demonstrated throughout our six year journey. Their deep knowledge of the West African telecommunications sector was a key factor in their involvement in MTNCI. We thank ECP for its investment and look forward to taking MTNCI forward.”
 
This announcement marks ECP’s 28th portfolio company exit, and builds on its track record of African mobile telecom exits including Celtel International, Telecel Faso, Orascom Telecom Algeria, and Sonatel. ECP continues to hold current investments in Cellcom, a mobile operator in Guinea and Liberia, and Airtel Gabon.

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