MTN Moves to Auction 575million Shares in Nigeria Unit

South Africa’s biggest telecoms operator, MTN Group Ltd (MTNJ.J) plans to proceed with a public offer to sell up to 575 million shares in its Nigeria business

The company disclosed this on Thursday as it reported higher third-quarter revenue and core profit.

The company, which has been exiting or reducing its stakes in some areas including its Ugandan and Zambian units, said the separation of fintech and fibre assets was on track.

The company said, “In South Africa, rising unemployment is a concern and may impact growth from prepaid customers in the lower-income segment in the near-term if measures such as the temporary employee relief scheme are withdrawn,” 

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MTN, which along with Vodacom Group Ltd (VODJ.J) controls over 70% of the South African mobile market in terms of subscribers, said the offer to sell shares in MTN Nigeria will open this month with a bookbuild to institutional investors, after which a fixed price will be announced for retail investors.

MTN’s core profit jumped 24.1% in the three months to September on robust demand for data and digital financial services. It added 0.2 million subscribers during the quarter, taking the total to 271.9 million.

The company, which extended its chief operating officer Jens Schulte-Bockum’s contract by two years to 2024, said it was targeting 2021 capital expenditure of 31.1 billion rands, up from a prior outlook of 14.8 billion rands.

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