Mastercard has reportedly invested some $100 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce (AMC) for a minority stake in Airtel Africa’s mobile money business.
The deal is the second in recent weeks for AMC, and forms part of its strategy to offload minority stakes in the mobile money business as part of a broader asset review.
Airtel Africa earlier sold its towers in Malawi and Madagascar to Helios Towers for a combined $108 million and also agreed exclusive negotiations with Helios for similar assets in two other markets.
It explained the sale is part of a plan to offload up to 25 per cent of its stake in AMC and explore the potential to list the subsidiary in the next four years.
Airtel Africa stated that the funds from Mastercard would be used to reduce debt and boost financing for network and sales infrastructure.
AMC operates several of the Airtel’s mobile money units in Africa, and once the deal goes through some closing conditions, including regulators’ clearance, Mastercard will hold a minority stake in AMC.
Meanwhile, the Mastercard investment has shot the value of AMC up to $2.65 billion.
Per the deal, the two companies are expected to expand current partnerships in areas including card issuance, payment processing and merchant acceptance.
CEO of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava said the Mastercard deal will help the pair “realize the full potential from the substantial opportunity to improve financial inclusion” across its operating countries.