MTN determined to overcome Nigeria IPO challenges

A $10.1 billion fine by Nigerian authorities will make an upcoming MTN Nigeria IPO difficult, but the operator will press on, its group CFO said.

Ralph Mupita told CNBC the process will become “pretty challenging and awkward, but we have got to explore other options of continuing to meet the listing requirements” adding “we are not sitting here saying the listing is off. The listing is to remain on track”.

The Central Bank of Nigeria last month ordered the South Africa-based company to refund $8.1 billion which it said was repatriated illegally from the country, followed by the government slapping MTN with a $2 billion tax bill related to the import of non-domestic equipment and payments to suppliers over the past decade.

Mupita stated the operator is committed to staying in the country and finding a solution to these issues, which makes sense given Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market.

MTN has been preparing to list a stake in its Nigeria business since it struck an agreement with regulators to do so in 2016. However, since then, speculation has been rife on the dates, value and process, and formal details have failed to materialise.

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