By Dipo Olowookere
The recent listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) may be pushing its rival in the telecommunications sector in the country, Airtel Nigeria, to list its shares on the exchange very soon.
The company indicated yesterday that it was giving this a thought and would soon unveil how to plans to go about it.
However, at the moment, the telco wants to concentrate on its planned listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Airtel, the African subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, said the main reason for its proposed London listing is to raise funds to help reduce debt and this would be done via an initial public offering.
In a filing yesterday, the company disclosed that it would create new shares and seek a free float of at least 25 percent.
Those who have an idea of the details claimed the sale of shares to the public could raise about $1 billion for the GSM network provider.
Proceeds from the London listing, it was further gathered, would be used to expand data and mobile money services rendered by Airtel across Africa.
The firm looks to trade on the main market of the LSE, using its premium listing segment, which has more stringent rules than the European Union’s minimum requirements.
Airtel operates in 14 African markets including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda and Zambia.
Business Post recalls that in March 2019, there were reports that was planning to list its shares on the NSE introduction before the end of this year, like MTN Nigeria.
Top officials of Airtel Nigeria then reportedly held a closed-door meeting with the management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Stanbic IBTC Holdings and the NSE ostensibly to discuss how to make the exercise a reality.
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