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MTN Offloads its 18.9% Stake in Jumia, Raising $142 million

Part of the company's plans to raise money and pay debt


South Africa’s MTN has finally offloaded its 18.9% stake in Jumia, one of Africa’s largest e-commerce companies and the first-ever tech company listed in the NYSE on the continent.

MTN made $142.31 million in net proceeds from the sale. The company first mulled selling its stake in Jumia as well as the IHS towers in August, as a way to minimise debt.

This was part of MTN’s greater strategy of disposing of investments in what it considers non-core businesses to reduce debt and plan for the future.

The telco company started preparing for the share sale in August after filing with the New York Stock Exchange to sell the stake in the secondary market.

“The group has now fully exited its 18.9% investment in Jumia,” MTN said in a statement on Oct 30th.

“We are proud to have been a partner in the evolution of one of Africa’s pioneering online marketplace businesses and will continue our relationship with Jumia through ongoing operational partnerships in some markets.”

Jumia’s NYSE Journey

Jumia was first listed on the NYSE in 2019 at $14.50 a share acquiring the revered unicorn status on debut.

The listed share price valued the company at $1.1bn.

Shortly after, precisely four days later, Jumia share soared to $49.77 hitting a valuation of $3.8 billion, but that didn’t last.

Since that high, the company’s share price performance on the New York bourse was troubled. The company lost its unicorn status six months after the debut. From its $49.77 high, Jumia’s share plummeted to a low of $2.15 in August 2019.

Failure to make profits and a short seller article were among the biggest issues that drove the company’s share price in the red from which it has never fully recovered from since.

Currently, Jumia trades at 17.26 as at the time of writing, according to Bloomberg.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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