TECHNOLOGY

Shareholders Seek Extension Of MTN’s Public Offer

Shareholder groups of MTN Nigeria have called on the management of the company and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend the telco giant’s Public Offer, which closed yesterday, December 14, 2021.

The investors, who spoke with journalists, demanded an extension of the offer, as they claim that thousands of their members were yet to subscribe to the exercise.

According to them, two weeks is just too short a time for an investment of that magnitude that was largely done via the Public Offer app, which is the first of its kind in the history of the Nigerian stock market.

What they are saying about the offer

The Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association, Eric Akinduro, while commending MTN Group for its decision to sell up to 575 million shares to institutional and retail investors, noted that the period for the offer is too short.

He said, “The period of the offer is quite short and 575 million shares is also small. I hope the company and SEC will consider an extension, as such will not be a bad idea.

“The duration of the offer is very short and with a lot of investors still agitating for it, we are urging the company to look at ways of extending the duration.”

Managing Director, Highcap Securities, David Adonri, also lauded the telecom company for the offering but called for an extension to allow more investors that want to either buy afresh or more.

He said, “Existing and potential shareholders have made a strong case for extension of the closing date for the offer, they can quickly partake since the application is going on simultaneously on the digital and physical space.

“Even within one’s confines and within 10 minutes, one who is conversant with computer and a mobile phone can run the transaction.

“The growth of the company in recent times has risen a lot despite all the fines by the Federal Government and so, it is good that they are trying to reposition themselves as a Nigerian company.”

The National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association, Okezie Boniface, explained that extension will be a welcome development “because the value investors have placed on MTNN is very high because it is an international company and people have so much belief in them that they will deliver returns on investments.”

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Will MTN call for an extension?

Speaking with Funso Aina, the spokesperson of MTN, he said, “Extending the offer lies in the hands of SEC and MTN has not done anything about that now. When and If we do that I will let you know.”

“On the Money” series on Clubhouse two weeks ago, Wale Okunrinboye, an investment banker, noted that MTN as a company has strong figures and could make a good buy for retail investors.

He said, “Fundamentally, I think MTN is a solid company. It has grown astronomically since it started in 2001 and is dominating the telecom space. Its demand is inelastic as people always need to communicate and so the product will always be in demand. Also, you don’t have many players going into that space because the entry barriers are quite large.

“Also, in terms of growth prospect, asides from the increasing Nigerian population, there is also the increasing data consumption. Going forward, data consumption will increase even more as we go more digital. The revenue from data consumption continues to increase quarter after quarter.”

It would be recalled that MTN Nigeria announced an offer of offering 575 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to the general retail investing public at a price of N169 per share. Accordingly, application list for the offer opened on December 1, 2021, and it is scheduled to close by 5.00 pm on December 14, 2021. It is, however, not known at this time if there would be any extension of the offer period despite calls from several quarters.

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