JOHANNESBURG Nov 28 Shanduka Group, the
investment firm run by South African politician and millionaire
Cyril Ramaphosa, has paid $335 million for a stake in MTN's
Nigerian business, its biggest investment outside its
Shanduka, which is 25 percent owned by China's sovereign
wealth fund, said in a statement it had acquired a minority
stake in MTN Nigeria from three private investors.
It did not give further details about the deal.
MTN Nigeria is the largest subsidiary of MTN Group, Africa's
largest mobile operator. It had 45 million subscribers at the
end of September, and contributed nearly 30 percent of MTN's
MTN holds a 78.8 percent stake in the Nigeria unit, meaning
Shanduka's stake could be up to 21.2 percent.
Ramaphosa is a leading member of the ruling African National
Congress and the founder and chairman of Shanduka. He is also
chairman of Johannesburg-based MTN.
A former trade union activist, his net worth was estimated
at $275 million by Forbes magazine in 2011, making him the 36th
richest person in Africa.
He is also widely seen as an eventual presidential candidate
in South Africa.
Shanduka has investments in varied sectors from mining,
energy, real estate and financial services. It also operates the
local franchise of fast food chain McDonald's Corp.
The China Investment Corporation paid 2 billion
rand ($226 million) for a quarter of Shanduka last year, valuing
the company at just shy of $1 billion.
($1 = 8.8511 South African rand)
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; editing by David Dolan)