Apparently rattled by regulatory sanctions some of which it is challenging, Africa’s largest mobile-phone company, MTN Group Ltd, has said it is considering substitution of its initial public offering (IPO) plans on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with other options.
MTN Chief Financial Officer, Ralph Mupita, was quoted at the weekend in an interview with MyBroadBand in South Africa, that the telecom firm was looking at other options of trading its shares on the Lagos bourse, Nigerian Stock Market.
The company’s CFO hinted that one of the options open to the company was listing by introduction instead of the initial public offering due to current market conditions.
Mupita said: “The IPO type of listing has become challenging under current market conditions.
“We are exploring other options. The Nigerian business would not get a fair value under current market conditions. The simplest way to go forward would be an introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange”, the CFO added.
Listing by introduction, which has the same approval procedures as initial public offerings (IPO), entails the listing shares of a company already in issue on another exchange.
Mupita said that the board of directors would make a final decision by the end of this year or first quarter of next year.
It would be recalled that MTN Nigeria had been sanctioned by the monetary authorities and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation over alleged improper repatriation of foreing exchange and tax bills respectively, amounting to $10.1 billion.
The sanctions had impacted negatively on the telco’s stock which plunged to its lowest ebb in recent times.
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria has already indicated its intention to amicably resolve the pesky areas of the sanction with the company through dialogue.
Before the latest move by the apex bank, MTN had filed a legal suit challenging the sanctions, claiming that the forex and alleged tax default allegations are unjustified.