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NSE Postpones Airtel Listing at NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has said that the planned Cross Border Secondary Listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc. (Company) has been postponed.

NSE had on Thursday, assured that all was set for today’s proposed dual/cross-border listing of its entire issued 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc on its main board.
Shares of Airtel Africa with operations in 14 African countries are to be listed at N363 per share, adding a total of N1.364 trillion to the market capitalisation of the NSE.
The secondary listing of Airtel on the NSE on Friday is coming after its London Stock Exchange (LSE) primarily listing on Wednesday, which followed a book building process that saw investors purchasing 637,178,979 ordinary shares of 50 Cents at 80 Pence per share.
But in a statement, the NSE said the postponement was necessitated by the need to ensure that the telco company meets all the post NSE approval pre-requisites for listing on the exchange.
“The NSE will provide further communication on this issue when all the conditions for the listing in its market have been met,” it said.
The management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), on Thursday, assured that all was set for today’s dual/cross-border listing of its entire issued 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc on its main board.
A secondary listing is when securities already listed on a primary exchange are subsequently listed on other securities exchanges, with the issuer not subjected to the full requirements applicable to listing on the other securities exchange(s) at which it seeks a secondary listing.
Meanwhile, a bookbuild is defined as “a price discovery mechanism that is used in the capital market to price securities for public sale for the first time. When shares are being offered for sale in an IPO, it can either be done at a fixed price or at a price range. If the company is not sure about the exact price at which to market its shares, it can decide a price range instead of an exact figure. The method of offering shares by providing a price range is called a bookbuild method. The price range sets a floor price and the highest price in which investors can bid.”
A total of $750m was raised from the exercise, with Nigerian participants contributing just under N15bn from 39,227,968 shares purchased at N363 each.
Addressing newsmen on the NSE ahead of the postponed listing, Godsent Iwenekhai, Head, Listing Regulations on the bourse said the application was considered and approved based on the rules for cross-border listing and the domestic bourse’s rule.
“Airtel Africa met all (pre-listing) requirements of the exchange, except for the (minimum of) 300 shareholders for which the NSE granted a waiver to list (even) with its 139 shareholders. The rule is designed to attract listings to the market.”
The waiver, notwithstanding, he said the company will be marketed as “Below Listing Standard (BLS),” confident that post listing on the NSE and entry of retail Nigerian investors, the number of shareholders would grow.
Airtel Africa, he continued, surpassed the free-float requirement of 10% for a cross-border/dual listing, having 25% float, which is defined as the percentage of shares held by other investors outside of the majority shareholders and strategic investors, which are therefore available for trading.
Also speaking, Olumide Bolumole, head, of the NSE, explained that a stake in Airtel Africa represents part ownership of an amalgam of the group’s operations in 14 countries, adding that the listing will further deepen the Nigerian market further.
The offer proceeds, he stressed, is to enable Airtel Africa to pay down its existing facilities and enhance its capital structure.
He, therefore, encouraged interested investors to approach and get the necessary advice from stockbrokers and other financial experts.
The new shares registered in London and the NSE, may be moved between both jurisdictions (fungible) no matter where they were purchased, the bourse explained, “subject to the investor contacting the custodian to the offer on shares detachment as well as Authorized Foreign Exchange Dealer in Nigeria to provide appropriate guidance on issuance of the required CCI documentation in respect of the share transfer, in accordance with the Exchange Control rules and guidelines in Nigeria. On the other hand, shares registered in Nigeria cannot be moved to LSE at this time.”

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