MTN tepid on Nigeria IPO in aftermath of huge bills - Mobile World Live

MTN tepid on Nigeria IPO in aftermath of huge bills

02 OCT 2018

MTN Group CFO Ralph Mupita revealed the operator is considering scrapping IPO plans in Nigeria over fears $10 billion-worth of demands made by authorities would hamper its valuation, Bloomberg reported.

In a statement to the news website, Mupita said the company was assessing other ways to trade stock in the country as a full IPO would “not get a fair value under current market conditions”.

Failing to IPO the unit backtracks on a commitment by the South Africa-headquartered company made in 2016 alongside a cash settlement for a previous fine levied by Nigerian authorities for failing to register the details of 5.1 million subscribers.

At the time MTN said it would “take immediate steps” to list in the country, however no formal application was made.

One of the options under consideration as an alternative is an introduction listing, where shares listed on other exchanges are sold elsewhere.

Despite playing down the chances of an IPO in the country and its ongoing problems with authorities, Mupita reiterated MTN remained committed to selling its shares to citizens in Nigeria.

Costs
Nigeria is MTN’s second largest market after South Africa and in the first half of 2018 contributed more than a quarter of overall group revenue. However, the company has been besieged with issues in the market.

MTN was slapped with a $2 billion tax bill by the country’s authorities last month, a week after it was hit by a demand for $8.1 billion Nigeria claims was illegally taken out of the country between 2007 and 2015.

The cash repatriation row first surfaced in 2016 and has been rumbling on ever since.

In the immediate aftermath of the two latest demands shares in MTN listed in South Africa plummeted by a third.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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