By Chinwendu Obienyi
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Monday that it held crucial meetings with South Africa’s telecom group, MTN to discuss its possible initial public offering and how it wants to structure the share sale to Nigeria investors.
Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, said MTN had discussed the possibility of issuing various classes of shares to targeted investor groups and that the telecom firm was looking at three different classes, which would be new in Nigeria.
Gwarzo said the Commission was willing to support the share sale as long as it was within local laws and advised the telecom firm to ensure retail investors are protected. MTN is the largest mobile phone operator in Nigeria with 57 million subscribers, while Nigeria accounts for about a third of its revenue.
Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator MTN Group had said it aims to list its Nigerian unit in 2017, subject to market conditions, and inline with its agreement with the Nigerian government.
In June the telecom firm said it would list its local unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after agreeing to pay a reduced fine of $1.7 billion in a settlement with the Nigerian government over unregistered SIM cards wage.
But Gwarzo told Renters the company was yet to submit a formal application for the share sale.
Already MTN Nigeria has 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.