MTN to list in Nigeria on Thursday at R71-billion valuation

MTN Group said on Wednesday that its Nigerian subsidiary has received approval to list on the premium board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The listing will take place on Thursday by way of an “introductory listing”.

The listing by introduction means that the shares of existing MTN Nigeria shareholders will be listed without an additional public sale of shares. From this point, all MTN Nigeria shareholders will be free to trade their shares on the NSE, the group said.

The listing price has been set at ₦90 (R3.54)/share. The price was determined by referencing private share sale transactions by MTN Nigeria shareholders over the past 180 business days.

Africa’s biggest mobile phone company registered 20.35 billion ordinary shares with Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission last week. It plans to list around 20% of those on the bourse.

The listing price gives the unit a market value of as much as ₦1.8-trillion (about R71-billion), making it the second-biggest public firm in Africa’s main oil producer after Dangote Cement. It will be the largest when measured by revenue.

“It gives me great pleasure to confirm that the official listing via introduction of MTN’s shares on the NSE will take place on Thursday, 16 May,” MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman said in a statement.

“This is just the beginning — we still intend to pursue a future public offer giving more Nigerians greater access to the MTN opportunity,” Moolman added.

Troubled few years

The listing, which was a condition of MTN’s settlement agreement with Nigerian authorities following a more than US$1-billion fine from the Nigerian Communications Commission for failing to disconnect more than five million unregistered Sim cards, comes after a torrid few years for the telecommunications group in the West African nation.

The company previously agreed to settle a dispute over repatriated dividends with the Central Bank of Nigeria, agreeing in December 2018 to cough up $53-million after the Bank had ordered it to bring back $8.1-billion.

But it still faces a claim from Nigeria’s auditor-general that it owes $2-billion in back taxes. MTN has denied the charges and is fighting them in court.  — © 2019 NewsCentral Media, with additional reporting by Renee Bonorchis, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP