Operator MTN met with Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to discuss an initial public offering in 2017 and the possibility of issuing three different classes of shares.

SEC director general Mounir Gwarzo told Reuters the commission will support the move as long as it is within local laws and has advised MTN to ensure retail investors are protected.

A formal application for the share sale has not yet been submitted. The listing will be subject to market conditions and is part of an agreement with the government.

Back in June, when MTN Nigeria finally settled a high-stakes row with the government, it also said it would “take immediate steps” to ensure the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as soon as possible after the date of execution of the agreement and will “always ensure full compliance with its license terms and conditions”.

MTN Nigeria 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 lead issuer, the Reuters report said.

Last month it was reported that MTN Nigeria faces a parliamentary investigation into whether it unlawfully repatriated $14 billion in funds between 2006 and 2016, an allegation it said it “continues to refute”.