Nigeria’s largest telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria, has launched a public offering to sell up to 575 million shares held by its parent company, MTN Group, in line with plans to ensure broad-based ownership.
MTN Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest telecom services providers, connecting approximately 68 million people in communities across the country.
Led by Group CEO Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria operates as a subsidiary of MTN Group, a multinational telecom group active in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
In a notification sent to the floor of the Nigerian Exchange, the Nigerian telecom group disclosed that the public offering for shares, which are priced at N169 ($0.412) each, will run from Dec. 1 until close of business on Dec. 14.
The offering, which will lead to the allotment of one free share for every 20 shares purchased, is in line with MTN Group’s commitment to reduce its shareholding in its Nigerian subsidiary from 78.8 percent to 65 percent over time.
The deal will see the South African multinational pocket N84.3 billion ($206 million) from the sale of its shares in the Nigerian subsidiary. This translates to a major value unlock for the global telecom major from its most profitable subsidiary, as it moves to open the Nigeria-based telecom behemoth to retail investors in the country.
Commenting on the announcement, Toriola said: “The success and growth of MTN Nigeria is intrinsically linked to that of Nigeria and Nigerians, Therefore, we are very excited to offer Nigerians the opportunity to own shares in MTN Nigeria.”
MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita stated that the offering aligns with MTN’s strategic priority to create shared value.
“In the last 20 years, we have worked diligently to connect 68 million subscribers onto voice and data networks and ensure that we deliver the benefits of o modern connected, with this public offer, we will contribute to the further deepening of Nigeria’s equity capital markets,” he said.
As of press time, Dec. 1, shares in MTN Nigeria were trading at N171 ($0.4169) on the Nigerian Exchange, 10-percent lower than their opening price this morning.
At this price, the market capitalization of the telecom behemoth is valued at N3.48 trillion ($8.49 billion), making it the second-most capitalized entity on the Nigerian bourse.