MTN to sell R10billion stake to black investors
South Africa’s telecommunications firm, MTN has revealed plans to sell shares worth R9.9 billion, a four per cent stake, to black investors to meet government quotas on black ownership.
Africa’s biggest telecommunications firm said the new black economic empowerment (BEE) deal would be launched via a public offer in September to replace an existing scheme that was due to unwind in November.
MTN, according to Reuters, said it would sell the shares at R102.80 — a nearly 20 per cent discount to Friday’s closing price. If fully subscribed, the offer, along with the existing scheme, would give black investors more than 30 per cent of the company’s South African operations.
Already, the telecommunications firm has revealed plans to list its shares in Nigeria by 2017.
The company, in a statement, said that the listing was part of a settlement arrangement with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The 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,” it said in the statement.
“At present, MTN Nigeria is targeting that the listing takes place during 2017, subject to suitable market conditions.”
The telecoms firm said it had appointed Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited (together with its affiliates, The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Standard Advisory London Limited) (collectively “Stanbic”) and Citigroup Global Markets Limited (‘Citi’) as Joint Transaction Advisors and Joint Global Coordinators, with Stanbic acting as Lead Issuing House.
It added, “A full syndicate including Nigerian receiving agents, Nigerian receiving banks and other advisers would be appointed in due course, as appropriate.
“The proposed listing would be subject to suitable market circumstances and conditions and the appropriate approvals from relevant regulators and other stakeholders.”
Though, the firm claimed not to be under pressure in listing its shares in Nigeria, it is however, still silent on the percentage of shares to be listed in Nigeria.
An MTN source had earlier in the month debunked claims of being forced to list shares in the country.
According to him, “it was simply part of the agreement reached between the telecommunications firm and the Federal Government in resolving the logjam that surrounded the fine payment.”He informed that listing of shares in Nigeria was not to make Nigerians pay the balance of the fine, which has been staggered till 2019.
To him, apart from profits, “the firm can go to consortium of banks local and international to raise fund, which we have done severally, whenever we want to expand services. That we want Nigerians to pay for the fine was not factual at all.”He said the firm is still working out the percentage that would be offered for listing in Nigeria.