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MTN moves to buy Visafone

By The Rainbow
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MTN has initiated process to buy Jim Ovia's Visafone Communications of Nigeria in a bid to expand its market in the country, Bloomberg reports.

Most CDMA fixed wireless networks had since fizzled out of the Nigerian telephony market as the GSM has become ubiquitous and reliable both win within urban and rural markets.

Visafone, largely do to outstanding business acumen of its founder Ovia, has survived when all the ilks, like Starcomms, Zoom, Multilinks, had atrophied.

Even in the face of daunting challenges, it has entrenched itself as one of the leaders in data sunset of the communication market.

MTN, Africa's biggest mobile phone company, has been exploring acquisitions as it seeks to boost revenue from data outside South Africa, where Vodacom Group has more subscribers.

Lagos-based Visafone is a wireless network provider founded in 2007 by Jim Ovia, a Nigerian businessman who also created Zenith Bank.

MTN had 59.9 million subscribers in Nigeria at the end of 2014, more than a quarter of its 223m total across 22 countries.

Visafone had about 2.2m customers as of December, according to data compiled by the Nigerian communications commission.

“We will send a holding statement at the appropriate time,” Funmilayo Onajide, an MTN spokesperson said Friday.

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