MTN Group has announced plans to proceed with a public offer to sell up to 575 million shares in its Nigeria business, worth about $244 million. This continues its plan to sell assets and pay down debt.
The move is part of a broader plan to sell about 14% of the parent company’s holding in its largest and most profitable unit.
The sale comes as the telecom looks to finalize a sale-and-leaseback of its South African telecom-mast portfolio and list shares in the Uganda operation in Kampala. The company also netted some proceeds from the initial public offering of towers firm IHS Holding Ltd. in New York last month.
Last month, MTN Uganda announced plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), looking to sell a fifth of its stake to East African investors. This includes investors from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The firm’s core profit jumped 24.1% in the three months to September on robust demand for data and digital financial services. It added 0.2 million subscribers during the quarter, taking the total to 271.9 million.
This follows the requisite approval by the Capital Markets Authority and Uganda Securities Exchange for the telecom Group to sell 20% of its shareholding in MTN Uganda to the public. MTN Group owns 96% of MTN Uganda.
The listing is in line with the Group’s strategic priority to create shared value, partly through ensuring broad-based ownership in its operating subsidiaries. It is also in line with the provisions of MTN Uganda’s NTO licence, which require its listing by the end of June 2022.
MTN Group Ltd of South Africa owns more than 90 per cent of the company’s shares, while a Ugandan businessman holds less than 5 per cent shares.
MTN Uganda, which has 15 million subscribers, had its operating licence renewed for 12 years in February last year after paying $100 million (Kes11 billion) with the local listing requirement as a precondition for the permit nod.