MTN Group Ltd., is planning to raise as much as N400 billion ($1.1 billion) in bond by the end of 2018 to fund local investment and replace existing debt in Nigeria.
In October 2015, MTN Nigeria incurred a record $5.2 billion fine over its failure to deactivate 5 million unregistered SIM cards. After a series of diplomatic negotiations, the government reduced the fine to $1 billion (N330 billion), payable over the three years on the terms that MTN enlists on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Rob Shuter, MTN Group CEO, in an interview in Lagos on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, revealed that the telecommunication giant is progressing with the Nigerian listing.
“We are progressing very well with the Nigerian listing and if market conditions are appropriate, we will conclude that by the end of the year,” Shuter had said.
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MTN has also appointed Standard Bank Group Ltd., Citigroup Inc., and some other lenders to advise it on listing on Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Ralph Mupita, MTN Chief Financial Officer in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, said: “We want to gear up our debt on an operational level away from the holding structure.”
“The debt must be where the Ebitda is and we want to raise as much as possible in local currency.”
Mupita said the Johannesburg-based company plans to shift its focus from dollar-denominated debt to debt in local currencies where it operates.
Last week, MTN Nigeria added 2.3 million subscribers to report a total customer base of 54.5 million. In its first quarter of 2018, the margin of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) expanded to 41.8% given well-controlled expenses and a stable naira rate supported by “growth in data revenue and increased scale”.