MTN says it plans to list on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2017, as part of a fine settlement agreement with Federal Government of Nigeria.
“MTN Nigeria is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has resolved to proceed with preparations for a listing of MTN Nigeria on The NSE as soon as commercially and legally possible and has established a management task team with the responsibility to guide the company towards a listing.
“At present, MTN Nigeria is targeting that the listing takes place during 2017, subject to suitable market conditions,” MTN said in a statement on Thursday.
The mobile operator has appointed Stanbic IBTC Capital (together with its affiliates, The Standard Bank and Stanbic and Citigroup) as its joint transaction advisors and joint global coordinators with Stanbic acting as lead issuing house.
The proposed listing would be subject to suitable market circumstances and conditions and the appropriate approvals from relevant regulators and other stakeholders, MTN said.
Earlier this month, MTN warned that a poor financial performance in Nigeria and South Africa – on top of a massive fine being imposed by the Nigerian government – would push the group’s headline earnings per share into the red.
MTN said that expects to report negative basic headline earnings per share (HEPS) and basic earnings per share (EPS) for its half-year results for 2016, compared to the reported HEPS of 654 cents and EPS of 653 cents in the year prior.
The expected decline in the HEPS and EPS is primarily as a result of the Regulatory fine imposed on MTN Nigeria, following a resolution with the Federal Government of Nigeria on 10 June 2016.
The Nigerian regulatory fine is expected to have an estimated negative impact of 474 cents on HEPS and EPS, respectively.
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) hit MTN with a $5.2 billion fine last year, for failing to disconnect more than five million unregistered SIMs on its network.
This fine was later reduced by 25%, but MTN elected to take the matter to Nigeria’s courts. It later dropped the case and paid a “good faith” sum of ₦50 billion (R3.8 billion at the time) in an effort to achieve an amicable settlement.
The groups finally settled on an amount of ₦330 billion, paid over three years – the equivalent of R25 billion.