Emerging markets GSM operator MTN has finally confirmed reports that its going public in Nigeria, its largest market, this year. Reports from inside sources claiming proximity to MTN’s board, filtered through earlier in the year that the company is planning to list about 30% of its shareholding – a $500 million share offer on the Nigerian bourse by June.
However, its recently released 2017 results confirmed the move without specific details on the numbers.
“MTN Nigeria continues to make good progress with the preparations for its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)… The operation anticipates that the listing will take place during 2018 subject to appropriate market conditions and requisite regulatory approval,” it read.
MTN Nigeria has engaged with Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the NSE extensively on the structure and parameters of the listing. The operation has also obtained its shareholders’ approval in principle to prepare for the listing, including amendments to its corporate structure. It is expected that the application to the NSE will commence in due course and management has already initiated its Corporate Governance Rating Scoring with the NSE with a view to listing on the NSE’s Premium Board,” the document furthered.
MTN’s public offer is one of the most anticipated listings in Nigeria. Nigeria is MTN’s largest and most profitable market. Till date, its been privately held and was only compelled to list publicly in 2016 by telecoms regulator Nigerian Communications Commission as part of a record breaking $1 billion fine for connecting millions unregistered sim cards to its network.