MTN Nigeria may Delay Plans to go Public, a Condition in Its Fine Settlement



In 2015, the Nigerian Communications Commission slapped  MTN, the biggest telco in Nigeria with a with a $5 billion fine for failing to abide by rules that required mobile phone operators in Nigeria to disconnect  unregistered Sim Cards. The NCC had initially asked all operators to comply by August 2015 but failure by MTN to register 5 Million of its 62 million customers led to the fine which was later slashed to $3.4 Billion.

The NCC and MTN late came to an amicable agreement in which MTN was to pay a fine of $1.7 Billion which was to be paid over a period of three years. MTN was also supposed to list its Nigerian unit on the stock exchange while taking the necessary measures to abide by the compliance rules issued by NCC in the awarding of its license.

MTN began taking measures to list on the stock exchange in 2017. It appointed Stanbic IBTC Capital, Standard Bank of South Africa as joint transaction advisers and Standard Advisory London, and Citigroup Global Markets  as its global coordinators. Stanbic was to act as the lead transaction issuer. According to Bloomberg News, MTN is considering delaying the decision to list on the Stock Exchange after Nigerian lawmakers alleged that the telco moved $14 Billion over a period of 10 years.  MTN says that any legal issues that may emerge as a result may cause a delay in the plans to list.