South Africa-based MTN Group has increased its Ghanaian unit initial public offering (IPO) scheduled for April to 3.48 billion cedis ($787 million), though the sale still awaits approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sources who pled anonymity told Bloomberg that the multinational mobile telecommunications company plans to list 35 percent of its stake worth about $2.2 billion in its Ghanaian unit on the country’s stock exchange. The stake was worth almost $2 billion as at February, however, another company’s valuation brought about the additional increase.
In order to fulfill the conditions for granting the company a 15-year license for the fourth generation spectrum –which is that Ghanaian investors own 35 percent of the business that has the capacity of conveying highspeed mobile data for customers, MTN decided to list the stake. The share sale is to be supported by IC Securities Ghana Ltd.
The share sale promises to be at least ten times bigger than the Ghana Stock Exchange’s previous biggest IPO that saw Agricultural Development Bank Ltd. raise 326 million cedis ($3.2 million) in December 2016.
MTN Group operates in many African, European and Asian countries with its head office in Johannesburg. MTN recorded 232.6 million subscribers across its operations as at June 2016. Though it operates in over 20 countries, one-third of its revenues come from Nigeria, where it holds about 35 percent market share and has about 51.4 million subscribers.
The telecommunications company is also reported to be preparing a similar offer on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as part of an agreement with the Nigerian government, although the IPO was delayed in 2017. MTN, however, confirmed in February 2018 plans to offload some 30 percent of its shares valued at about $500 million to Nigerian investors during the first half of the year.
The Nigerian public offer comes as part of the final settlement in the aftermath of the hefty penalty imposed on the company by the Nigerian government for its failure to meet the deadline to deactivate 5.2 million unregistered subscribers on its network in 2015.