MTN Group Ltd.’s Nigerian unit will be the biggest listed company on the Nigerian Stocks Exchange(NSE) by revenue once its shares start trading. The South African parent says that should happen by the end of June. MTN Nigeria, with 58 million mobile-phone subscribers, had sales of 1 trillion naira ($3 billion) last year, making it even larger than Dangote Cement Plc, the main asset of Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote.
MTN Group’s balance sheet showed total revenue of 37.971billion South African rand (equivalent of about N965.3billion), a statement from the firm indicated.
It said: “MTN plans to list by introduction on The Nigerian Stock Exchange during the first half of 2019 and is looking to simplify the capital structure ahead of this listing.
“The company’s listing on the Exchange will create a new telecoms asset class for investors and provide an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to participate in our investment story.
“This will be achieved via a listing by introduction and will be followed by a public offer once market conditions are conducive. Over time, and subject to market conditions, we anticipate that the participation of Nigerians in the ownership of the business will increase from around 20 per cent to 35 per cent.”
The telecom giant also announced a $1 billion divestment programme over the next three years that will slim down its operation and refocus it on high-growth markets on the continent and in the Middle East.
Shares in the company surged 15 per cent to 87.39 rand, on course for their biggest one-day rise in since 2008.
During the year under review, MTN Nigeria increased its mobile subscriber base by another six million people, bringing its tally to 58 million subscribers nationwide.
CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, said: “In 2018 we rebuilt the base; adding another six million Nigerians to our network, giving a total of 58 million people access to worldwide communication services.
“This growth was built on our sustained focus on customer centric delivery – ensuring that customers get much more value for their money.
“This included the deployment of proactive interventions to improve customer experience, together with the enhancement of network quality and coverage, and the optimisation of our services portfolio.
“We also enabled an additional 8 million people to access the possibilities that the internet provides, bringing our total data subscriber base to 44 million, of which 18.7 million use more than five megabytes per month.