MTN Group Limited has appointed units of Citigroup Inc. and Standard Bank Group Ltd. as advisers on a planned listing of the wireless company’s Nigeria business on the country’s local stock exchange.
According to Bloomberg news, this is part of a deal struck with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to settle a record fine.
Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator is targeting a listing of the Nigeria unit in 2017, “subject to suitable market conditions,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Thursday.
Stanbic IBTC Capital, the Nigerian arm of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank, will be the lead issuing house, while a full syndicate including Nigerian parties will be appointed in due course.
MTN agreed to list the unit in Nigeria, the company’s biggest market, as part of a deal to pay a 330 billion naira ($1 billion) fine in cash to the Nigerian government for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers.
“MTN Nigeria is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has resolved to proceed with preparations for a listing of MTN Nigeria on The NSE”, the telecoms firm said on Thursday in a statement.
As part of preparations, it said it had established a management task team charged with the responsibility of guiding it towards a listing targeted to take effect in 2017.
The proposed listing, the MTN Group explained, would however be “subject to suitable market circumstances and conditions and the appropriate approvals from relevant regulators and other stakeholders.”