MTN could raise a total of US$1bn when it lists on both the Nigeria and Ghana stock exchanges later this year.
According to Kofi Yamoah, CEO, Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) MTN Ghana will officially introduce 35% of its capital into the GSE by the end of Q1 2018.
Yamoah said MTN Ghana has already submitted the necessary documents for review. “We believe that at the end of the first quarter, we will see the public offering of this entity take off.”
MTN was supposed to list in 2017, but the process was delayed. The decision to list on the GSE was reached as a condition for the acquisition of a 15-year US$67m 4G license in 2015.
Ebenezer Asante, CEO of MTN Ghana, said, “It’s very clear from the license that 35% of MTN should be moved into Ghanaian hands and since we required the license we have engaged the regulators both in the NCA as well as the Central Bank and also with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
In Nigeria, MTN has set a June 2018 deadline for its IPO which is expected to be the biggest on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The decision to list on the NSE was reached in June 2016 during negotiations on the industry record fine slammed on the operator after it failed to disconnect unregistered subscribers from its network as directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The NCC recently disclosed that MTN has only paid one-third (N110bn) of the sum (N330bn). Regional media have reported that the company could raise at least N153bn through the local bourse – although the operator has refused to confirm this.
At an NSE briefing on the Nigerian stock market in 2017 and outlook for 2018, Oscar Onyema, CEO of NSE, confirmed the NSE is working with MTN on the listing. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also discussed the IPO and how it could be structured.
Former President of the Independent Shareholder Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, believes that the listing could bring about a turnaround in the outlook of the Nigerian stock market and he enjoined the operator to ensure that small investors are able to access the stock.
Bloomberg reported that Standard Bank Group and Citigroup are advising MTN on selling 30% of MTN Nigeria on the NSE.While MTN Nigeria is not commenting on the deal, it recently held a two-day board meeting attended by Group Chief Executive, MTN, Rob Shuter, to discuss the IPO.