Over the weekend, the Ethiopian telecoms regulator awarded only one of two licences on offer to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom. In a statement to its employees, the Group’s CEO, Ralph Mupita remains respectful of the decision by the Ethiopian authorities, and thanks them for the opportunity to participate in the bid process.
I would like to thank the many teams (internally known as the Project Lion team) for working diligently and tirelessly on the Ethiopia bid. I know that you are all bitterly disappointed (as I am too), and this is to be expected and appreciated. I also know that you fully supported the approach taken on the bid, and remain of the view that we made the right decisions, given the licence conditions on offer and other related issues on the bid.Ralph Mupita, MTN Group’s CEO
He further confirmed speculation that MTN had bid US$ 600m for the licence. There has also been further press commentary that the company’s bid was approximately 29% lower than the successful bid.
We were guided by our capital allocation and returns framework. This framework informs all the investment decisions we make, including capital expenditure for our “second to none” networks. When we make investment decisions on all the exciting opportunities that present themselves, we evaluate them in an integrated approach – considering strategic, commercial, technology, risks and other material issues to guide the capital we allocate to these very opportunities.Ralph Mupita, MTN Group’s CEO
The decision by the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) came as a surprise as initially, two telecom licences had been planned to be awarded.