By Elias Biryabarema
KAMPALA: MTN Uganda , the East African nation’s biggest telecoms operator, said on Monday it had set its initial public offering price at 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.0558) per share.
"The MTN IPO is officially open," MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte told a news conference in Kampala, urging the Ugandan public to invest, adding that the IPO will close in six weeks, on Nov. 22.
The firm is offering 20% of its shares to the public. The total number of shares on offer is 4.5 billion, Vanhelleputte said.
"This is a Uganda first…we’ll give you first priority," Anne Juuko, Stanbic Bank CEO said, adding that after Ugandans, investors in East Africa would then be prioritised, then others from beyond the region. Stanbic owns SBG Securities Limited, the sponsoring brokers for the IPO.
A unit of South Africa’s MTN Group , the firm, which has a subscriber base of 15 million and also offers mobile money financial services, won regulatory approval last week to sell 20% of its shares to the public.
It chiefly competes with a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel and its subscriber base could potentially earn a boost after a smaller rival, Africell, announced it was exiting the market.
MTN Uganda started operations in the east African country in 1998 with a 20-year operating license.
It secured a 12-year renewal of its licence in June 2020 after paying $100 million and one of the conditions for extension of the licence was to list at least 20% of its equity on the stock exchange within two years.
The company’s IPO will be the country’s biggest ever, and MTN Uganda’s shares will be a major boost to Uganda’s Stock Exchange (USE), a small bourse with 38,000 investors trading some 17 stocks.
The IPO is expected to raise almost double what Uganda’s capital market has raised since its inception, Keith Kalyegira, CEO of the Capital Markets Authority, said last week. The Uganda Securities Exchange says it has raised $623 million since its inception in 1998.MTN Uganda’s revenues in 2020 were 1.9 trillion Uganda shillings, up 9.3% from the previous year.