Nigeria: MTN May Postpone Nigeria Listing to 2018

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Lagos — The MTN Group says it may put off plans to list its Nigerian operation until 2018 as Africa’s largest wireless carrier works to resolve a regulatory dispute and awaits an economic recovery in the continent’s most populous country.

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Its chairman and acting chief executive officer, Phuthuma Nhleko, gave the indication weekend at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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He said: “It’s a work in progress and hopefully within the 12- to 18-month period we will be able to do it. Regulatory issues need to be resolved, and the macro conditions need to have improved.”

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MTN agreed to list the unit in Nigeria as part of the settlement of a N330 billion fine imposed on it by the government for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers. It said in July 2016 that the listing would take place in 2017, subject to market conditions.

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“We’ve always intended to list, we have reaffirmed that with the government. Clearly, we can only list when the conditions are conducive,” said Nhleko

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MTN shares have lost more than a third of their value since the fine was handed down in October 2015, and the company has overhauled management and toughened up its approach to regulators as a result.

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In July 2016, MTN appointed units of Citigroup and Standard Bank to advise on the Nigeria listing.

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