MTN Hopes To Resolve $2B Tax Dispute Before Nigeria IPO

MTN Hopes To Resolve $2B Tax Dispute Before Nigeria IPO

Africa’s biggest mobile operator MTN plans to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange but aims to first resolve a $2 billion tax dispute in the country.

Nigeria’s attorney general accused the South African mobile service provider of not paying all its taxes in September 2018, and the two parties have yet to reach an agreement, according to BankerAfrica.

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A court hearing took place in Lagos on March 26, but the case was adjourned and will continue in May, ITWebAfrica reports.

MTN was aiming for a public listing in April or May, but with the tax dispute unresolved, the listing will likely be delayed until later in the year.

Tobe Okigbo, a spokesman for the company, said that the board can assign a value to the company and an IPO can go ahead when the tax dispute is resolved, according to Techcentral.

tax dispute
MTN still aiming for Nigerian IPO once tax dispute is settled. Photo – AP – Sunday Alamba

In December 2018 the South African Mobile operator agreed to pay a $52.6 million settlement to the Nigerian Central Bank after negotiating a fine on $8.1 billion that the bank claims MTN improperly repatriated to South Africa, according to Businesslive.

The mobile operator was in the process of finalizing its Nigerian IPO before it was ordered to refund the $8.1 billion.

Africa’s biggest mobile phone company by subscribers stands to make 30 percent of its Nigerian shares available for listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange when it lists. Those shares are expected to be worth around $512 million, according to ENCA.