MTN Group Limited is planning to raise about $500 million from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of the year as part of a deal struck with the federal government to settle a record fine.
According to Bloomberg, Standard Bank Group Limited and Citigroup Incorporated have been advising Africa’s largest mobile-phone company on the disposal of as much as 30 per cent of the Lagos based unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Most of the shares will be sold to local institutions and individuals, though foreign investors could be brought in to ensure the process is a success, one of the people familiar with the issue said.
If successful, the Lagos share sale will be the biggest on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after Starcomms Plc. which raised $796 million when it listed in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
MTN agreed to list the Nigerian unit as part of a June 2016 agreement to pay a $1 billion fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown.
MTN had, in 2016, met with Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to discuss a possible initial public offering and how it wanted to structure the share sale.
SEC’s Director General, Mounir Gwarzo (currently on suspension), said MTN had discussed the possibility of issuing various classes of shares to targeted investor groups.
Gwarzo said the telecom firm was looking at three different classes, which would be new in Nigeria.