SEC confirms talk with MTN over planned $500 IPO

MTN Annual Results at their head office in Johannesburg on Thursday, March 8 2018. CEO,Rob Shuter spoke at the announcement of the results along with CFO, Ralph Mupita. Pic: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Wednesday confirmed it was in discussions with MTN Group on the company’s planned $500 million initial public offering (IPO), bringing to a close speculations that the telecoms company was yet to make a move on listing its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, a senior management staff of SEC who pleaded anonymity said MTN had commenced discussion with the commission on the IPO.

The source said that although talks were ongoing, the company was yet to formally file its application for the IPO. He said the commission was committed to investors’ protection, and that their interest would be protected in the ongoing discussion.

The source said SEC would remain committed to the development of the nation’s capital market and the listing of more multinationals. Another source at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), who declined to be mentioned, also told NAN that the NSE had not yet received an official filing from the company.

There were reports recently that MTN Group Ltd. was perfecting plans to raise about 500 million dollars from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business in the first half of 2018.

Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Citigroup Inc. had been advising MTN on the disposal of as much as 30 percent of its Nigerian unit on the NSE. MTN had agreed to list the Nigerian unit as part of June 2016 agreement to pay one billion dollars fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown.

The telecoms giant recently appointed a Nigerian investment firm, Chapel Hill Denham, as lead manager for the planned sale of 500 million dollars shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of this year.

It also appointed South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank, Renaissance Capital and Vetiva Capital as joint issuers to the offer. The telecoms firm also appointed seven placement agents that would help market the shares.

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