By Chioma Obinagwam
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said neither MTN Nigeria Limited nor any of its advisers or representatives has filed any application with the SEC regarding an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The Commission in a Circular in Abuja weekend signed by its Management, said its attention has been drawn to a publication in pages 1 & 38 of Business Day Newspaper of Thursday, July 5, 2018, and other media outlets wherein it was reported that “after 6 weeks delay by SEC, the MTN IPO was set to go”.
According to the SEC, “The Commission wishes to categorically state that the information contained in the said publication is false, misleading and without merit.
“Additionally, the Commission would like to state that: MTN Nigeria Limited to the best of the Commission’s knowledge is a Private company limited by shares,
As at the date of this circular, neither MTN Nigeria Limited nor any of its advisers or representatives has filed any application with the SEC regarding the said IPO,
“Given that there is no application from MTN before the Commission, there could not have been a request by MTN or any of its representatives or advisers requiring any form of regulatory review.
The Commission stated further that it welcomes filings aimed at deepening and broadening the capital market and stands ready to provide the necessary regulatory support adding that If MTN finally files a formal and complete application with the Commission, it would be treated with the usual diligence and urgency that is applicable to all such filings.
“Furthermore, we wish to remind all capital market operators of their duty not to furnish information, which is false, and misleading in any material particular as the Commission would not hesitate to take necessary regulatory actions on any erring market operator
“The Commission remains committed to its core mandate of investor protection and maintaining the integrity of the Nigerian capital market,” The Circular added.
The telecommunication had earlier disclosed is plans raise about N153 billion ($500 million) from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of 2018- representing about 30 per cent free float on of the NSE.
The IPO is coming on the heels of the $1 billion fine slammed on MTN in 2015 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failure to disconnect unregistered customers on its network within the stipulated deadline and was later reduced to N330 billion after several pleas.