MTN Group plans to diversify shares in Nigerian unit, targets 2m retail investors

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MTN Group, a telecommunications company, says plans are underway to diversify shareholding in its Nigerian unit to local retail investors.

Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria CEO, said this during a recent interview with Arise TV.

Ralph Mupita, MTN Group president/CEO, had said the telecoms firm plans to sell down 14 percent of MTN Nigeria to Nigerian investors as soon as conditions were conducive.

Confirming this, Toriola said the sell-down would move the group’s shareholding in MTN Nigeria to approximately 65 percent.

“It has always been a part of our plan to diversify the extent of shareholding in MTN Nigeria through a sell down by MTN group to approximately 65% from 82% where we are now,” Toriola said.

“Our focus in this secondary offer is on the retail market and we would like, with the support of Nigerians, to be the most actively owned company on the stock exchange by Nigerians, and our target is for 2 million shareholders.

“A secondary offer is on the horizon in the short to medium term, preferably in the short term. We are exploring the right timing subject to the prevailing environmental condition shortly in this period of the COVID pandemic, which hopefully will come to an end as we accelerate vaccinations.

“Going forward, for the sell down, we want to be as inclusive as possible for retail shareholders in the Nigerian market.”

He also said MTN Nigeria plans to invest about $1.7 billion over the next three years in its network infrastructure.

President Muhammadu Buhari had also urged the telco giant to offer top-of-the-range and affordable service to Nigerians.

He stated when he received members of the board of MTN led by Ralph Mupita, president/chief executive officer, at the state house in Abuja.

While assuring a conducive business environment, Buhari asked the telecom firm to improve the quality of service and enable a downward price review of the cost of data and other services.

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