MTN Continues Plans For Listing Nigerian Arm This Year

After months of anticipation the board of Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator- MTN Nigeria, with 51.4 million subscribers in Nigeria, on Wednesday, discussed plans to list on the country’s stock exchange at a meeting.
The process is to begin with an Initial Public Offering, Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting a source close to the company.
The listing was to have happened last year as part of an agreement with the Nigerian government, but delayed the IPO due to market conditions.
As part of the plan, the company plans to hire a public relations firm to manage communications ahead of the listing in Nigeria in addition to its South African advisers, the source said.
“There’s a lot of preparation going on due to the listing, which is expected to happen this year,” the source said.
Group Chief Executive Rob Shuter was attending the two-day meeting, which began on Wednesday, the source said.
In 2016 the telecom firm said it would list its local unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after agreeing to pay a reduced fine of $1.7 billion in a settlement with the Nigerian government over unregistered SIM cards.
It has appointed Stanbic IBTC Capital, Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Advisory London and Citigroup Global Markets, as joint transaction advisors and global coordinators, with Stanbic acting as lead issuer.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has said it was working with MTN on the listing while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has discussed the IPO and how it could be structured.
A third of MTN total revenue is generated from Nigeria, following which the listing would give Nigerians and opportunity to share in the wealth distribution that would arise from becoming co-owners of the company.
In addition, the eventual listing of MTN is expected to further diversify the Nigerian exchange with the representation of telecommunication sector on the board. It could become the new kid on the bloc, taking over from Dangote Cement Plc, which alone accounts for a third of market capitalization.