MTN Uganda to Offer 20% Stake in IPO

MTN Uganda to Offer 20% Stake in IPO

MTN Group Ltd. is seeking a valuation of about $1.4 billion for its unit in Uganda, according to people with knowledge of the matter, in what will be the nation’s biggest initial public offering.

Africa’s largest wireless carrier plans to sell 20% of the unit raising about $280 million, one of the people said, asking not to be identified before a public announcement. The move by the South African company is aimed at ensuring broad-based ownership in its operating subsidiaries, according to a statement on Tuesday.

MTN plans to invest $281 million in three years to expand its coverage in the East African nation. The IPO follows listings of MTN’s units in Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda, which to some extent took place after pressure from government and local regulators. The creation of a Lagos-listed entity was part of a deal to settle a multi-billion dollar fine for being slow to disconnect customers without proper documentation.

MTN is in the middle of a scaling back of the company, with the focus turning primarily to African telecom and mobile-banking services. The Johannesburg-based carrier abandoned its business in Syria and is looking to sell the Afghanistan and Yemen units. An upcoming initial public offering of IHS Holding Ltd. will allow MTN to reduce its stake in the pan-African towers company.

The IPO, the first in Uganda since 2016, will be the biggest since Umeme Ltd. raised about $66 million selling shares in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Investors in Uganda will be able to bid for MTN’s IPO via their phones.

— With assistance by Helen Nyambura, and Bella Genga

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