Business Hilights
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MTN Nigeria again, shifts listing for another 6 months

Following the failure to hit the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on or before September this year as earlier touted, the telecoms giant has come out to say it is focused on laying the groundwork for an initial public offering of its Nigerian business in another span of six months.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, the process is likely to be completed in the next six months.

He said “We have a lot of advisers running around and getting everything ready,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“It’s a complicated process and there’s a lot of regulation that needs to be arranged. We are moving forward well with the project and anticipate concluding that in the next six months or so,” Shuter explained.

Business Hilights recalls that listing on the NSE formed part of the settlement of the multibillion dollar sanction meted to the group when it contravened SIM card registration regulations in MTN Nigeria incurred the penalty after missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown in the country.

But elated Shutter said he had been “pleased” with MTN’s operation in Nigeria, the biggest of the Johannesburg-based company’s 22 markets across Africa and the Middle East, stressing that “In January this year, the NSE said it was working “very closely” with MTN on the listing of its shares in the country’s bourse”.

“The pressure on MTN has never been higher to list,” the NSE Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Onyema, told a business conference then, adding, “There’s a project team working with them.”

Already, the company had appointed Stanbic IBTC Capital, Standard Bank of South Africa and Standard Advisory London, and Citigroup Global Markets, as joint transaction advisors and global coordinators, with Stanbic acting as the lead issuer.

It would be recalled that Shuter joined MTN in March after holding executive roles at Vodafone Group Plc in Europe. He is the permanent replacement for Sifiso Dabengwa, who resigned after the Nigerian fine was imposed. The Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, had run the company in the interim period.