Photograph — Warrenski

MTN Group’s historic initial public offering (IPO) in Ghana has seen it raise GHC 1.14bn cedis (USD$237 million), a third of the initial 4.6 billion shares that were made available when the company started the floating in May.

MTN Ghana, MTN Group’s third largest market, had announced that it will offer 35 percent stake in the unit to the public by selling 4.6 billion shares at 75 pesewas each between May 31 and July 31. However, a few weeks after the close of offer and days ahead of its listing on Ghana stock exchange, the company sold 1.5 billion securities of initial 4.6 billion shares.

When the group rolled out its plans ahead of the IPO, it was obvious it would be a significant event in the history of Ghana. Although the IPO was way off the benchmark set by the telecommunications giant, it remained the largest, recording over 120,00 participants and surpassing the amount raised by the previous biggest IPO in December 2016 when the Agricultural Development Bank Ltd. raised 326 million cedis.

Officials of the telco in a statement said the money raised exceeded the minimum GHS 347,804,590 (USD 72.6 million) required to be raised for the offer to be declared successful despite the inability to raise more than half of its initial offering. The company also reassured all successful applicants of transparency while the company perfects its listing in the stock market.

“Applicants with Central Securities Depository (“CSD”) accounts will have their CSD accounts credited with their allotment by 04 September 2018 by 5:00 pm few hours before trading resumes on the stock exchange market,” the statement read.

MTN Ghana’s IPO was famed for the use of a mobile money platform, the first of its kind in the West African country. MTN Ghana introduced the unconventional medium when it was announced that the shares would be bought through MTN Ghana owned mobile money platform, Momo Wallet which is been used by millions of Ghanaians. Surely, it will herald remarkable turnaround as the listing is expected to birth a sharp increase the Ghana Stock Exchange market capitalization and consequently raising the bar for scores of local investors who are interested in doing business in the country.

The IPO is sequel to the company’s agreement with the Ghanaian government when it was issued a 4G broadband license in 2015. It was included as part of the agreement that MTN must have its operations listed in the Ghana Stock Exchange within 15 months of securing the spectrum from the country’s telecommunications regulatory body prompting the telco giant to initiate the process early this year.

The successful listing will ostensibly reignite the long-standing debate over MTN’s planned floating in its largest market. Last week, the MTN Group shares plunged after The Central Bank of Nigeria dropped a bombshell asking the company to return $8 billion which it repatriated between 2008 and 2016.

MTN is in the forefront of Ghana’s telecommunications industry with the highest number of users, beating off stiff competition from local service providers like AirtelTigo, Vodafone and Globacom.

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