MTN Group Limited may rake in nothing less than $600 million as Africa’s largest online retail, Jumia is set to go public. The telco is planning to raise as much as $600 million from selling its shares through the Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Jumia is planning an IPO in New York this year that could value the business at about $1.5 billion.
MTN’s shares in Jumia
MTN Group currently holds 40% stakes in Jumia which is arguably Africa’s biggest online retailer. The company is present in about 14 African countries, including Nigeria where it is in competition with Konga and other smaller e-commerce operators.
With its capital base of $1 billion, Jumia is also one of the most valued e-commerce companies on the African continent. According to Bloomberg, Jumia’s revenue has grown steadily since 2012 when it was established.
While MTN and Jumia declined to comment on the matter, Nairametrics had reported that MTN Nigeria’s parent company was considering selling off its equities in Jumia.
Why would MTN Group even think about disposing of its shares in Jumia?
According to a report, the telco is heavily indebted and in constant need of money to offset said debts. The company’s debt volume stood at $4.8 billion as at June 2018.
The company operates in 21 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Nigeria is one of its strongest markets, with MTN Telecommunications Nigeria Limited being the biggest telecoms operator in the country.
More so, the company is yet to carry out its highly anticipated initial public offering on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Will Jumia still be fine?
A U.S. IPO would catapult Jumia into the global spotlight after seven years of rapid growth across Africa, where it provides an Amazon.com-like service and has platforms in 13 countries.
Jumia is a rare so-called unicorn in Africa — a private company valued at more than $1 billion — being one of only three, according to research firm CB Insights.
With the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Millicom International Cellular SA and Orange SA as shareholders, one thing can be guaranteed, Jumia will still be very much OKAY.
It is pertinent to note that Jumia was established six years ago in Lagos Nigeria, by two French entrepreneurs – Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec. The company was in 2012 to take advantage of rising internet use in the world’s least connected continent, as well as a lack of availability of items such as designer watches and sunglasses in Lagos stores.