After three years of trying to enter the Nigerian Stock Exchange in fulfilment of a 2016 fine reduction settlement with the federal government of Nigeria, Pascal Dozie, Chairman MTN Nigeria, was cryptic on when the firm will carryout its Initial Public Offering.
The South African based telecommunication multinational listed its shares on a crowded Nigeria Stock Exchange trade floor at the close of trading Thursday.
Speaking to brokers and the media amidst congrats and cheers, Dozie said: We were to have an Initial Public Offering (IPO) today but due to unforeseen circumstances we could not. However half bread is better than none,”.
The firm, which is now MTN Nigeria PLC, put 20.33 billion ordinary shares up for purchase on the secondary floor of the NSE at a value of N90 per share. Th is puts the value of the Nigerian arm of the company at $5 billion or N1.8 trillion- second to Dangote cement PLC.. The NSE listed the telecommunication’s shares on its premium board, bringing the total number of premium companies in the NSE to six.
After two years of delay, caused by the recession of the Nigerian economy, a year of tax and illegal forex repatriation battles, a court settlement was reached with the Nigerian government in January 2019, paving the way for the listing.
It is hoped that MTN Nigeria PLC’s forced listing on the floor will attract more International Oil Companies (IOC’s and the other two telecommunication firms- Airtel and Globacom into the NSE. By listing its shares and not doing an IPO, Nigerians can only purchase the firm’s shares from private owners of the company’s stock.
Analysts say a unit of MTN Nigeria PLC’s shares will trade for as high as N150 when an offer is made to the public.
Meanwhile, a day after the listing, MTN shares is trading at N18 higher than the start price of N90 which brings the company’s valuation to N2.21trillion.