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JOHANNESBURG – MTN Nigeria, owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, listed in Lagos yesterday in a 2trillion naira (R78.9billion) flotation turning the telecoms company into the exchange’s second-largest stock by market value.
MTN Nigeria’s shares climbed 10percent from their listing price of 90naira after the float went live. The company, which had 52.3million users in Nigeria as of 2017, has had fraught relations with the Nigerian authorities, including disputes over SIM cards and tax payments.
The listing follows MTN Group’s agreement with Nigerian regulators to settle most of those long-running disputes. However, the company is still in the middle of a $2billion tax row with Nigeria’s attorney-general. Once that matter is resolved, MTN will sell more shares to the public, and seek to increase local ownership of MTN Nigeria to 35percent from the current roughly 20percent, its finance chief told investors in Lagos earlier yesterday, according to two of those investors. Just before the flotation, parent MTN Group owned 78.8percent of the Nigerian business. MTN Nigeria accounts for a third of the Johannesburg parent’s core profit.
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