Markets Technology

MTN to sell N101 billion stake in Nigerian unit

Shares of MTN Group's Ghanaian unit have almost doubled this year, helping the nation’s main stock index become Africa’s best-performing equity benchmark.

MTN plans to sell shares in the carrier’s Nigeria unit worth about 101 billion naira, continuing a plan to dispose of assets and pay down debt.

Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator will offer 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria, which is listed in Lagos in 2019, according to a statement on Thursday. The move is part of a broader plan to sell about 14% of the parent company’s holding in its largest and most profitable unit, the group said.

On Thursday morning, MTN shares rose as much as 3.6% in Johannesburg, the most in almost a month. The stock has surged 138% this year, the best performer on the FTSE/JSE Africa Top40 Index, as investors cheer various cash-raising exercises.

The Nigeria sale comes as MTN looks to finalise a sale-and-leaseback of its South African telecom-mast portfolio and list shares in the Uganda operation in Kampala. The company also netted some proceeds from the initial public offering of towers firm IHS in New York last month.

MTN said third-quarter service revenue gained by 19%, driven by data and fintech sales.

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