MTN Starter pack/Bloomberg
The company held an initial public offering (IPO) of its Ghana operation last year and is under pressure to prepare something similar in Uganda.
Thursday 16, May 2019
(Bloomberg) --MTN Group will list its Nigeria unit in Lagos this week in a move that will value the pan-African wireless carrier’s largest business at NGN 1.8 trillion ($5 billion).
The move is a step toward a partial sell down of the carrier’s majority 79 per cent stake and was agreed to as part of the settlement of a $1 billion regulatory fine three years ago.
MTN Nigeria is the market leader in Africa’s most populous country, with about 60 million customers at the end of last year. The price of MTN Nigeria’s shares were set at NGN 90 naira a share, determined by referencing private sale transactions by shareholders over the past 180 business days.
The true valuation of the business is uncertain due to an ongoing dispute with Nigeria’s Attorney General over a claim for $2 billion in back taxes, MTN said.
MTN has been under pressure from governments and regulators in some of its 17 African markets to transfer a greater share of its business to local investors.
In a statement, MTN said that the listing of MTN Nigeria deepens the equity capital markets base of the country, which makes it possible to broaden the shareholding base of Nigerian unit over time.