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MTN Meets Bankers Ahead of Planned Mid-year Share Sale

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The management of MTN Group has intensified its preparations for the planned sale of shares in its Nigerian unit later this year.

The nation’s largest telecommunications firm is planning to list its equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in June or July 2018 as part of an agreement it had with the Nigerian government when it reportedly negotiated reduction of the $5.2 billion fine to $1 billion for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown by the country’s authorities.

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A report by Guardian on Friday said MTN has appointed more financial institutions to coordinate the exercise.

The sale would be done through an Initial Public Offer (IPO) and the price could go for N80 per share, the firm had said earlier.

Rob Shuter, MTN’s current CEO, had also said in an interview this month that he expected the IPO to be finalized by the end of the year.

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MTN Nigeria has 52 million subscribers and generated 36 billion rand ($3 billion) of revenue in 2017, according to MTN’s financial statements. It made earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 14 billion rand.

At the moment, according to reports, the company is yet to decide what portion of the subsidiary to sell, but it may aim to raise about $400 million, or roughly 10 percent of the stock.

But the banks and brokers already picked for the exercise are Renaissance Capital, FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank and Nigerian firm Chapel Hill Denham. They will work with global co-ordinators Citigroup Inc. and Standard Bank Group Ltd.

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It was reported that the company met its bankers on Wednesday and held a presentation for foreign and local analysts on Friday in Lagos to give them more details about the deal and MTN Nigeria’s finances, they said.

Meanwhile, an MTN spokesman declined to comment.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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