MTN Considers Scrapping Nigerian IPO Over $10b Claims

MTN- Nigeria
MTN- Nigeria

Wireless telecommunications operator, MTN, has said it may no longer seek to raise capital through an Initial Public Offering, IPO, on the country’s stock exchange due to a combined $10 billion in claims from Nigerian authorities.

The mobile phone company said it was considering other options of trading its shares on the Lagos-based bourse, including a so-called listing by introduction, in which existing shares are listed.

However, Ralph Mupita, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, said in a report that MTN’s board still needed to make a final decision.

“The IPO type of listing has become challenging under current market conditions.

“We are exploring other options. The Nigerian business would not get fair value under current market conditions. The simplest way to go forward would be an introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

”MTN would complete the listing in its biggest market by the end of this year or first quarter of next year,” Mupita said.

The company’s stock is said to have plunged in the wake of a dispute with the central bank over the repatriation of $8.1bn out of the country and a separate tussle with the attorney general’s office over $2bn in back taxes.

Mupita said: ”Listing the business on the local exchange forms part of a settlement two years ago over unregistered SIM cards, when MTN negotiated a $5.2bn fine down to about $1bn.

“We have sought legal protection for our Nigerian business and a judge has been appointed for upcoming hearings.”

Recall that the central bank last week said it was reviewing new information provided by MTN and the banks into the outflows and that it expected to resolve the matter soon.