S.Africa's MTN raises $142 million from sale of Jumia stake


Adds details, background

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 30 (Reuters) - South Africa's MTN MTNJ.J said on Friday it had now exited its 18.9% stake in the continent's online retailer Jumia JMIA.N making 2.3 billion rand ($142.31 million) in net proceeds.

MTN said in August it had filed with the New York Stock Exchange to prepare for a secondary sale of Jumia shares as part of a 25 billion rand divestment plan aimed at simplifying its portfolio over the next three to five years.

"The group has now fully exited its 18.9% investment in Jumia," MTN said in a statement.

"We are proud to have been a partner in the evolution of one of Africa's pioneering online marketplace businesses and will continue our relationship with Jumia through ongoing operational partnerships in some markets," it continued.

E-commerce unicorn Jumia became Africa's first tech firm to list in New York in 2019, when its shares soared to give the company a market valuation of nearly $2 billion.

But it has so far failed to make a profit, and its shares have since fallen by two thirds, also partly driven by a short-seller casting doubt on its sales figures.

MTN did not specify what the funds would be used for, but its divestment aims include paying down debt.

($1 = 16.1622 rand)

(Reporting by Emma Rumney Editing by Tim Cocks)

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