South African telecoms company MTN Group says plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of its Nigerian unit are on track, with the process expected to be concluded in the first half of this year. Bloomberg cites people familiar with the matter as saying that MTN plans to raise about USD500 million from the sale of as much as 30% of MTN Nigeria, the country’s largest cellco by subscribers. Most of the shares will be sold to local institutions and individuals, although foreign investors could be brought in to ensure the process is a success, according the sources, adding that discussions are ongoing and a final decision has not been made.
MTN Nigeria revealed in July 2016 that it planned to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), subject to suitable market conditions, and had appointed Citigroup and Stanbic IBTC Capital as joint transaction advisors and global coordinators. The planned IPO forms part of a settlement arrangement with the Nigerian government regarding a NGN330 billion (USD909 million) fine handed to MTN Nigeria in October 2015 for missing a deadline to disconnect around 5.1 million incompletely registered subscribers.