The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied receiving any application from MTN Nigeria Limited regarding its proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Recall that there were several reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission has given the go-ahead for the long-awaited MTN IPO.
In a press release, SEC described the news as “false, misleading and without merit.” The commission also noted that MTN Nigeria Limited to the best of the Commission’s knowledge is a Private company limited by shares.
It said given that there was no application from MTN before it, there could not have been a request by the company or any of its representatives or advisers requiring any form of regulatory review.
“As at the date of this circular, neither MTN Nigeria Limited nor any of its advisers or representatives has filed an application with the SEC regarding the said IPO”.
The commission, however, revealed that it will welcome filings aimed at deepening and broadening the capital market and stands ready to provide the necessary regulatory support.
“If MTN finally files 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.”
A long-awaited and highly speculated IPO
Talks about the IPO have dominated business reports throughout the year, with rife speculations about the actual details/entailment.
An earlier report had it that the MTN shares’ listing would happen in June 2018. There have also been conflicting reports about the exact amount the company wants to raise through the IPO, including a report that it was hoping to raise about ₦100 billion.
Last month, an MTN spokesperson debunked rumours that MTN had ever hinted at issuing as much as $500 million-valued shares during the IPO.
The spokesperson also stated that MTN Nigeria Limited has yet to fix a definite date for the IPO while noting that all information pertaining to that would be made known at the right time.
Meanwhile, MTN Group’s President/CEO, Rob Shuter, did confirm to Bloomberg that the IPO will happen before the end of the year. He, however, gave no further details about when that will be happening or how much the company hopes to raise.
As expected, many of the company’s current and potential investors/shareholders have been affected by the long delay, even as they have also complained about being left in the dark on issues pertaining to the impending IPO.
Way forward for MTN
It is expected that MTN Nigeria will proceed with all the necessary preparations for the IPO. The company may list 20 billion shares after a 1 for 5 share split, then it will proceed to pick the IPO price through book building.
MTN Nigeria has a current valuation of $5.2 billion, going by its current over the counter price of $13 per share, the nominal value of the shares will also be split from ₦1 to 2 kobo.
Note that proceeds from the IPO will be used to redeem preference shares issued to existing investors who bought the shares 11-years ago.
It will also go towards cutting the company’s dollar exposure, and as part of the fulfillment of sanctions slammed on it in 2015 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).