Media reports have suggested that MTN could be looking at raising over a ₦100 billion through a listing of its Nigerian arm on the Nigerian Stock Exchange scheduled to take place this year. The telecommunications giant is also pursuing a listing on the Ghanian Stock Exchange. The listing on the Ghanian bourse is part of the conditions for the acquisition of a 4G licence in the country in 2015.
The Nigerian listing is part of the terms of settlement agreed with the Nigerian government. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) initially fined the company $5.2 billion for failing to disconnect improperly registered sims. The fine was however reduced to $1 billion following the intervention of then President Jacob Zuma.
Details of the offer
Though the company is yet to divulge details of the offer, several media reports have stated that the company could list at least 30% of its stake in MTN Nigeria, at an estimated value of $500 million. Standard Bank Group and Citigroup are reported to be advisers to the offer. The listing is expected to take place in the first half of the year.
If the figures bandied by are accurate, the listing could be the largest ever on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, after that of Dangote cement. Dangote Cement in 2010 listed 15,494,019,668 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N135.00 per by way of introduction on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
What the proceeds could be used for
Some reports have suggested that the proceeds could be used in paying down its debt to the government. MTN has paid about ₦110 billion so far. The impact of the fine, caused the MTN group to incur a loss in 2016.
The MTN group was founded in 1994. The company has operations in over 20 countries outside its home base of South Africa, and over 200 million subscribers. MTN Nigeria commenced operations in May 2001, having obtained a GSM license for $275 million in an auction held that year.