MTN Ghana announces IPO for late May after recording 484,000 increase in subscribers

MTN Ghana announces IPO for late May, records 484,000 increase in subscribers
MTN Group president and CEO, Rob Shuter

MTN Ghana has recorded an increase in the number of its subscribers by 484,000 new customers to reach a total of 16,2 million in the first three months of the year 2018. The mobile phone operator also announced Thursday that its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) will begin late May after its Ghana operation benefited from the improving macroeconomic and stable competitive environment.

The MTN Group's quarterly update for the period ended March 31, 2018, reported strong service revenue growth of 29.3% Year-on-Year, led by a 51,5% increase in data revenue.

It also attributed its strong financial growth to the Mobile Money (MoMo) service which accounted for 15% of MTN Ghana's total revenue.

Active MTN MoMo subscribers in Ghana increased to 7,4 million and there were 6,6 million active data subscribers.

MTN Ghana IPO slated for late May

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MTN Group president and CEO, Rob Shuter disclose that the company has received all required regulatory approvals to proceed with its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) on the Ghana Stock Exchange in late May.

He said: "In Nigeria and Ghana we made good progress on the IPO processes, which we aim to conclude during 2018. To this end, we will be releasing full financial results for MTN Nigeria on 7 May 2018. On 20 April 2018, we received all required regulatory approvals to proceed with the IPO in Ghana, which we expect to launch in late May 2018".

In March, Bloomberg reported that MTN Ghana had lifted its target for the IPO by more than a half to 3.48 billion cedis ($787 million), according to two people familiar with the matter.

MTN is preparing to list a 35 percent stake in its Ghanaian business on the local stock exchange, valuing the unit at about $2.2 billion. While the bourse estimated the value of the stake at about 2 billion cedis in February, the assessment was raised after a fresh valuation of the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

If successful, the share sale will exceed by more than 10 times the Ghana Stock Exchange’s previous biggest IPO, when Agricultural Development Bank Ltd. raised 326 million cedis in December 2016. MTN is listing the stake to meet conditions agreed to in 2015 when it acquired the right to use spectrum that can carry high-speed mobile data for customers.

IC Securities Ghana Ltd. will be the main sponsor for the share sale, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg last month.

MTN Group adds 4.1 million new subscribers

Globally, the MTN Group added 4.1 million new subscribers in the first quarter, ending March with a total of 221.3 million in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. That represents a 1.9 percent increase quarter-on-quarter.

Active MTN Mobile Money customers increased by 3.9 percent on a quarterly basis to 22.7 million, and mobile money revenues were up 52.4 percent year-on-year.

MTN also reported group voice revenue up 5.4 percent thanks to strong growth in Nigeria and Ghana and data revenue up 26.9 percent as it expanded coverage across its footprint.