Post Views: 490 Contrary to the barrage of media reports, Nigeria’s capital market apex regulator- the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), on ...
Contrary to the barrage of media reports, Nigeria’s capital market apex regulator- the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), on Sunday denied receipt of any application regarding an Initial Public Offering (IPO) from either telecommunication giant MTN Nigeria Limited, any of its advisers or representatives.
The mass media has been awash with news of plans by the MTN Group to list its Nigerian unit worth $5.23bn later in the year in the debut IPO on the Nigeria Stock Exchange. The company is said to be preparing to file application to the SEC to launch the offer after getting approvals from existing investors.
The fresh funds, at least $400m, being raised, according to the pre-IPO presentation seen by Reuters, will help reduce the company’s debt, just as proceeds would go into redemption of preference shares issued to existing investors who bought the shares 11-years ago and also cut its dollar exposure.
MTN Nigeria has around 402 million shares in issue, the same amount in preference
shares, which it sold at $0.99 in 2007.
As part of the IPO, these would be split one into 50 units, creating 20bn shares, which would be listed on the bourse, while the IPO price would be set via book building, in what would make it the biggest on the NSE after Starcomms Plc, which raised $796m when it listed in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
A statement at the weekend by the SEC management, reported various media organizations as on Thursday, July 5, 2018, said the MTN IPO was finally set to open, after a “six-week delay by SEC.”
The SEC stated categorically “that the information contained in the said publication is false, misleading and without merit.
“Additionally, the Commission would like to state that MTN Nigeria Limited to the best of the Commission’s knowledge is a private company limited by shares.
“As at the date of this circular, neither MTN Nigeria Limited nor any of its advisers or representatives has filed any application with the SEC regarding the said IPO,
“Given that there is no application from MTN before the Commission, there could not have been a request by MTN or any of its representatives or advisers requiring any form of regulatory review.”
That notwithstanding, the Commission “welcomed filings aimed at deepening and broadening the capital market and stands ready to provide the necessary regulatory support.”
SEC therefore assured that should MTN finally file “a formal and complete application with the Commission, it would be treated with the usual diligence and urgency that is applicable to all such filings.
“Furthermore, we wish to remind all capital market operators of their duty not to furnish information, which is false, and misleading in any material particular as the Commission would not hesitate to take necessary regulatory actions on any erring market operator
“The Commission remains committed to its core mandate of investor protection and maintaining the integrity of the Nigerian capital market” The Circular added.