MTN Nigeria launches first public shares sale, offers 575 million units

MTN Nigeria Communications PLC will open a public offering for its shares and a bid from institutional investors in a transaction totaling 575 million units, the operator said in a statement on Thursday.

“This is the first step in MTN Group’s previously communicated statement of intent to sell down approximately 14 percent of its shareholding in MTN Nigeria,” the carrier said in a statement.

MTN Nigeria’s shares, listed in Lagos, have returned 19.46 percent in the last one year.

Furthermore, and in its quarterly update for the period ended 30 September 2021, the telecoms giant announced its intention to proceed with a public offer for sale of up to 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria.

It said: “The offer is anticipated to open in November 2021 with a bookbuild to institutional investors, after which a fixed price is expected to be announced for retail investors, also in November 2021.”

The aim is that the offer will close in December 2021.

In parallel, this sale is in line with MTN’s intent to sell down approximately 14 percent of MTN Group’s current shareholding in MTN Nigeria, as the company stressed. MTN has already reduced its stakes in places like Uganda and Zambia. It is also busy separating its fintech and fiber assets.

MTN listed its Nigerian business in Lagos earlier in 2019 to become the second-largest stock by market capitalization, according to Reuters.

The quarterly update refers to another strong performance in the period, “notwithstanding a decline in subscribers due to the ongoing implementation of SIM registration regulations.” Service revenue was up, and data continued to drive revenue growth, supported by fintech and digital services and also by the lower base of voice revenue in the comparative 2020 period as a result of lockdowns.

Last but not least, the enterprise business remains solid and 4G site rollout appears to be going well, although Nigerian Naira depreciation and COVID-19-related expenditure both caused a rise in operating expenses.