MTN Forges Ahead With Nigeria Stock Sale Plans – Reports

The MTN Group has revealed that it will push on with a plan to decrease its majority stake in the telco’s Nigerian business, though uncertainty caused by the coronavirus may require the sale to be executed in smaller chunks than anticipated.

The Group’s Chief Financial Officer, Ralph Mupita, said that the impact of the global pandemic on international financial markets does not change the importance of selling a piece of the 79% shareholding to local investors.

Mupita said that MTN still to do part of its retail offer in Nigeria, even if it is on a smaller scale.

MTN is in the process of selling off part of its largest division after many disputes with Nigerian authorities, most recently a scuffle over tax payments and the allegedly illegal withdrawal of cash from the country.

The plan is to sell off a 15% stake to local investors, reducing MTN’s majority ownership to roughly 64%. MTN Nigeria Communications is the country’s second-largest publicly traded company.

The Nigeria business is MTN’s biggest market, accounting for a third of 2019’s total revenue and close to 40% of earnings before taxes, amortisation, interest and depreciation.

The Johannesburg-based company is also the leading provider of telecoms services in the country, with almost 69 million subscribers, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.

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