A share sell-off is on the way for MTN Nigeria, according to an announcement from the MTN Group, which expects to kick off the process this month.
In its quarterly update for the period ended 30 September 2021, the telecoms giant announced its intention to proceed with a public offer for sale of up to 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria.
It said: “The offer is anticipated to open in November 2021 with a bookbuild to institutional investors, after which a fixed price is expected to be announced for retail investors, also in November 2021.”
The aim is that the offer will close in December 2021.
As the company points out, this sale has been expected and is in line with MTN’s intention intent to sell down approximately 14 percent of MTN Group’s current shareholding in MTN Nigeria. This isn’t a first either. MTN has already reduced its stakes in places like Uganda and Zambia. It is also busy separating its fintech and fibre assets.
As Reuters points out, MTN listed its Nigerian business in Lagos two years ago to become the second-largest stock by market capitalisation. So how is MTN Nigeria looking?
The quarterly update refers to another strong performance in the period, “notwithstanding a decline in subscribers due to the ongoing implementation of SIM registration regulations”. Service revenue was up and data continued to drive revenue growth, supported by fintech and digital services and also by the lower base of voice revenue in the comparative 2020 period as a result of lockdowns.
The enterprise business remains solid and 4G site rollout appears to be going well, although naira depreciation and Covid-19-related expenditure both caused a rise in operating expenses.
All in all, however, MTN Nigeria appears to be in a reasonable state, despite Covid, NIN-SIM linkage and currency value issues – but no doubt investors will have their own thoughts on the health of the Nigerian telecoms giant.