14 November 2017

Nigeria: MTN Targets May 2018 to List Shares On Nigeria Stock Exchange

Telecommunications operator, MTN has disclosed a plan to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, disclosed yesterday that the listing might hold in May 2018.

He said the firm was making underground plan for an initial public offering of its Nigerian business, which would be completed in the next six months.

According to him: "We have a lot of advisers running around to get everything ready. It is a complicated process and there's a lot of regulation that needs to be arranged. But, we are moving forward with the project."

Shuter told Bloomberg that he was pleased with MTN's operations in Nigeria and looks forward to listing its stocks on the NSE.

The Guardian leant that the South African firm has appointed Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and its affiliates as transaction advisors, to undertake the spadework on the proposed listing.

The telecoms firm said Stanbic IBTC would be exercising the mandate together with its affiliates, namely The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, the Standard Advisory London Limited and Citigroup Global Markets Limited.

It was further leant that the full syndicate would function as Joint Transaction Advisors and Joint Global Coordinators, with Stanbic acting as Lead Issuing House.

It would also include some Nigerian receiving agents, banks and other advisers to be appointed in due course, as appropriate.

The listing of shares was part of the conditions agreed by the MTN with the Nigerian government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) early last year.

The disagreement arose from the crisis over the $3.4 billion (N1.04 trillion) fine imposed in October 2015 on the telecommunications firm, for flouting the order on unregistered Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards.

In June this year, the General Manager, Nikiwe Tsaagane, assured the Federal Government that the firm would list its shares on the NSE.

He had told the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, that plans were underway to make the shareholders to apply for the listing digitally.

He said: "To achieve this, we are working with the NSE to develop an application platform to enable our customers apply online. It would be the first time that such would be happening in the country."

Earlier in the year, MTN's management had explained that the proposed listing would be "subject to suitable market circumstances and conditions, as well as the appropriate approvals from relevant regulators and other stakeholders."

Going by statistics from the NCC, MTN remains the largest telecommunications firm in Nigeria, with 36 per cent market share and over 50 million subscribers.


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