Nigeria: MultiChoice Stock Plunges After Pay TV Giant Hit With $2.2-Billion Tax Bill in Nigeria

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Pay up or we will not hear your case, tax authority tells pay television operator.

Another multinational operating in Nigeria has earned the wrath of that country's authorities. This time it is the turn of pay TV company MultiChoice, which has been ordered to pay $2.2-billion in disputed taxes.

This is just a deposit: paying this sum is a precondition of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Firs) hearing the case, which concerns a dispute about tax backlogs, according to Bloomberg.

MultiChoice's share fell 7.5% on the news, to R105,73, as investors digested the news that the sum is almost two-thirds of the firm's market value of $3.3-billion, or R50.4-billion.

Put differently, it is almost three times the R10.4-billion ($698-million) the firm earned in operating profit in 2021.

Problems in Nigeria surfaced in early July when Firs instructed local banks to freeze MultiChoice's bank accounts to recover the $4.4-billion it claimed was owing. At the time, the tax authority claimed that MultiChoice had breached several agreements and that its data could not be trusted. Among other issues, it argues that MultiChoice had not accurately disclosed its number of subscribers and that the company had refused to grant access to its servers...

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