MTN Nigeria has changed its legal status in the west African country from a Private Limted Company (Ltd) to a Public Limited Company (Plc). This comes after several requests from Nigerian authorities that the South African headquartered mobile services provider list its Nigerian business on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
When making the announcement, MTN Nigeria CEO also concurred that this was an important step towards listing the telecommunications company on the NSE.
“Our conversion to a Plc is a major step towards listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019. It is a reaffirmation of our long-term commitment to expanding investment opportunities for Nigerians, in addition to providing everyday services to them
MTN has had quite a bumpy ride during its time in Nigeria so far. One of its biggest bumps was in 2015 when MTN Nigeria had to agree to pay Nigerian authorities a reduced fine of $1,05 billion fine for missing a deadline to cut off unregistered SIM cards from its network. As part of the reduced fine, one of the terms was that MTN Group would list MTN Nigeria separately on the NSE. Being the largest telecommunications company in Nigeria has led to some analysts alluding that it is perhaps a target of the Nigerian government.
Converting the company to a Plc is a legal requirement in the process for listing on the NSE.