MTN plans to sell 575 million shares in Nigerian business


MTN Group said it is planning to sell shares worth about $241.7million from its Nigeria business.

MTN on Thursday said it will offer 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria, which listed in Lagos in 2019.

“Today we announce our intention to proceed with a public offer for sale of up to 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria, by way of a bookbuild to institutional investors and fixed price to retail investors,” MTN Group said on its website.

“The offer is anticipated to open in November 2021 with a book build to institutional investors, after which a fixed price is expected to be announced for retail investors also in November 2021. The offer is expected to close in December 2021.”

MTN said selling the shares is the first step in its previously communicated statement of intent to sell down approximately 14% of its current shareholding in MTN Nigeria.

The Nigerian sale comes as MTN looks to finalise a sale-and-lease back of its South African telecom-mast portfolio and list shares in the Uganda operation in Kampala. The company also netted some proceeds from the initial public offering of towers firm IHS in New York last month.

MTN said third-quarter service revenue gained by 19%, driven by data and fintech sales. But its subscriber growth slowed to just 200,000 in Q3 in Nigeria, with the group adding 1.6 million subscribers in the Q3, excluding Nigeria.

“As more of MTN’s enrolment centres in Nigeria are certified for SIM registration in line with the current regulations, we expect positive net additions to resume during Q4 2021,” MTN said.

MTN Group said the move is part of a broader plan to sell about 14% of the parent company’s holding in its largest and most profitable unit.

At the hour of the announcement, MTN shares rose as much as 3.6% in Johannesburg, South Africa capital. This amounts for the most in almost a month.

Prior to that, MTN stock surged 138% this year, the best performer on the FTSE/JSE Africa Top40 Index, as investors cheer various cash-raising exercises.

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