Abu Dhabi-based firm Chimera Investment has invested $50 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), the holding company for several of Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations.
Chimera Investment is a private investment firm managed by Pakistani businessman Syed Basar Shueb.
The firm operates as a member of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Group, a diversified conglomerate of companies with investments in a broad array of sectors, including real estate, construction, FMCG and hospitality.
In the full year ending March 31, profits before tax and the value of gross assets attributable to Airtel Africa’s mobile money businesses reached $185 million and $668 million, respectively.
According to a statement by Airtel Africa, one of Africa’s largest telecom services providers, the investment was made through the $50-million secondary purchase of shares from its subsidiary.
The transaction will provide the telecom group with the opportunity to explore the potential listing of the mobile money business within four years.
It is also a step forward in Airtel Africa’s commitment to lead the mobile money space in Africa, as the proceeds will be used to reduce debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in its operating countries.
While the deal will earn the Basar Shueb-led firm a minority stake in AMC BV through its subsidiary, Chimetech Holding, Airtel Africa will retain the majority stake in its mobile money business.
Chimera recently signed an investment deal with Gemini Global Development, an Egyptian property development firm controlled by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.
The deal will see the Abu Dhabi-based firm invest $100 million in the Egyptian property development firm in return for a significant minority equity position.