Africa’s leading telecom infrastructure provider, IHS Towers Limited has shifted its Initial Public Offer (IPO) valued at $10 billion, fearing that the sale may be too close to Nigeria’s general election next year.
The company is seeking to raise about $1 billion from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
According to Bloomberg, if the tower operator goes ahead with the sale next year, teleco giant could sell its stake in the company where it currently owns about 29% stake.
MTN’s Chief Financial Officer, Ralph Mupita also revealed that the company’s stake in IHS Tower has been earmarked as an asset for sale.
The telco giant has a total debt of $4.8 billion, according to its FY 2017 results. Also in its financial statements for the year ended December, 2017, classified its investment in IHS as Available For Sale. The company could rake in over $2 billion from a likely sale of its stake in IHS wireless.
MTN is also planning an IPO later this year, this was one of the conditions MTN agreed to settle the $1 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in 2015. The company has paid $500 million so far, amounting to half of the fine.
This is the third IPO postponement by an African telecoms infrastructure provider in 2018.
Recall that Helios Towers recently halted its plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in London which was expected to value the business at about 2 billion pounds ($2.8 billion).
The company had earlier announced that it has received considerable interest from institutional investors who were supportive of the company’s business plan and growth prospects but its shareholders had decided to withdraw the planned listing.
Eaton Towers also halted its planned IPO on concern that the conditions may hurt the valuations. The mast company was seeking a valuation of about $2 billion in a sale in both London and Johannesburg. The company is owned by Ethos Private Equity Limited.
In recent times, there has been an upsurge in the number of telecommunications mast providers seeking to cash in on a profitable wireless communication on the continent, this can be largely attributed to the ever-growing population and an increase in mobile and data subscription.
IHS is one of Africa’s leading telecom infrastructure providers in Africa. The company builds, leases, and manages telecommunications towers. IHS has over 23,000 towers and operations in Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon, Cote D Ivoire, and Rwanda. IHS had revenues of $904.7 million in 2016 and has about 2,000 staff. IHS is owned by private equity firm, the Wendel Group Ltd, Goldman Sachs, and MTN.