MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of South African telecoms company MTN Group, has been converted into a public company ahead of its listing on the local stock exchange, which is planned for mid-year. 

‘Our conversion to a PLC is a major step towards listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019,’ Reuters quotes MTN Nigeria chief executive Ferdi Moolman as saying.

Last month MTN Group revealed that its Nigerian unit expects to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in the first half of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals, adding that this would be achieved via ‘a listing by introduction’ and will be followed by a public offer once market conditions are conducive.

 Over time, and subject to market conditions, MTN Group anticipates that the participation of Nigerians in the ownership of the business will increase from around 20% to 35%.

MTN Nigeria first revealed in July 2016 that it planned to list its shares on the NSE, as part of a settlement arrangement with the Nigerian government regarding a NGN330 billion (USD912 million) fine handed to the cellco in October 2015 for failing to disconnect around 5.1 million incompletely registered SIM cards.

 Last year the listing was delayed by a repatriation dispute which was resolved in December.