MTN Finalizing Plans For Nigerian IPO Before Year End

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Nigerian IPO
MTN is set for a Nigerian IPO before the end of this year. Photo – GuardianNigeria

South African mobile operator MTN is in the process of finalizing its plan to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with the Nigerian IPO expected before the end of the year.

While the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange have not yet received applications from MTN for the offer, an anonymous person working at MTN revealed that detailed work is underway in planning the IPO, according to Vanguard.

The company still expects the listing to become a reality before the end of 2018.

Africa’s biggest mobile phone company by subscribers will make 30 percent of its Nigerian shares available for listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with those shares worth around $512 million, according to ENCA.

The stock exchange listing was one of the settlement conditions placed on the telecoms giant after Nigeria fined MTN $5.2 billion for missing a deadline to disconnect unsubscribed Nigerian customers.

Most of the shares will be sold to Nigerian institutions and individuals. MTN is the biggest tax contributor, biggest employer and biggest company in Nigeria, and now Nigerians will be able to own a piece of the mobile operator through the shares.

The successful share sale would be the biggest on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after Starcomms, which raised $796 million with its 2008 listing, according to Techcentral.

As one of MTN’s three biggest markets, Nigeria is important for the mobile operator.

The Nigerian market accounts for 29 percent of MTN Group’s service revenue, 34 percent of the voice revenue and 30 percent of digital revenue, according to ITWebAfrica.

Nigerian IPO on the heels of Ghana listing

Meanwhile in another West African market, MTN will also be listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

MTN has agreed to sell shares in Ghana as one of the conditions of a deal to gain spectrum rights. The company will make 35 percent of its shares available to investors on the Ghanaian Stock Exchange, according to ITWebAfrica.

The company originally aimed to list in Ghana during 2017, but the process was delayed. The decision to list on the Ghanaian exchange was reached as part of the terms of agreement for the acquisition of a 15-year, $67-million 4G license in 2015.

A successful public offering, which closes at the end of July, would make MTN Ghana the most valuable company listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, according to CNBCAfrica.

The combination of Nigeria’s $512 million and Ghana’s aim to raise around $450 million means that MTN could raise in the region of $962 million between the two listings. MTN is also listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa.