SEC Says MTN Nigeria Yet To File IPO Application
Is Africa's telecom giant, MTN ever going to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange?
That is the question on the lips of most investors awaiting the much-anticipated listing.
Sometime in February this year, the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE came out to say that despite the noise about MTN going public in Nigeria, the telecom company had yet to notify it formally of its intentions.
MTN had responded at that time, insisting that plans remain in the works to list in Nigeria.
Four months down the lane, the capital market regulator in Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC has also come out to say that MTN Nigeria has yet to file for any Initial Public Offering, IPO.
So, is MTN Nigeria ever going to list?
“Neither MTN Nigeria Limited nor any of its advisers or representatives has filed any application with the SEC regarding the said IPO,” the regulator said, denouncing media reports on Thursday last week that MTN Nigeria was ready to go public.
The firm also needs to convert itself from a private to a public company before it can then sell its shares.
The SEC said in Sunday’s statement that MTN Nigeria is private, meaning it has less than 50 shareholders, and there had been no request by the company or its advisers for any form of regulatory review.
According to pre-IPO documents seen by Reuters in February, the telecoms firm planned to debut by July (this month) and raise at least $400 million to cut debt for its Nigeria unit, valued then at $5.23 billion.
Sources say the company wants to issue shares electronically; that has not been done before in Nigeria and needs new systems put in place to allow it.
MTN has picked Nigerian investment firm Chapel Hill Denham as lead manager, while South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank, Renaissance Capital and Vetiva Capital were chosen as joint issuers.
Africa’s biggest telecoms firm had planned to list its Nigerian unit in 2017, as part of a settlement with the Nigerian government over unregistered SIM cards for which it was fined $1.7 billion.
It subsequently delayed the IPO due to market conditions.
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