MTN hit with Nigerian probe following listing

MTN hit with Nigerian probe following listing

After listing its Nigerian unit on the country’s stock exchange, MTN has been placed under investigation by the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

MTN was cleared to list MTN Nigeria as an introductory offer from May 16th, with the unit valued at around $5 billion. The Commission has asked it to submit additional documentation relating to the offer.

The group claims to have received all the required approvals for the listing and denies any foul play. Despite this, the Nigerian financial crimes agency has reportedly raided MTN’s local headquarters as part of the probe, according to Bloomberg.

MTN has struggled with a number of difficulties in Nigeria, which is its largest operating market. In January, the operator reached an agreement with the country’s government to over a vast fine issued after MTN was accused of illegally repatriating its earnings from Nigeria, but it still faces demands for $2 billion in unpaid taxes.

In March this year, a strategic review led MTN to announce that it would launch a number of new services while selling off assets worth ZAR15 billion before 2022, in a bid to streamline its offering and reduce risk.

Following on from this, the group has recently announced that it will divest its holdings in the investment fund Amadeus and travel booking site Travelstart. It is selling both stakes for a combined ZAR1.2 billion to the private equity company HarbourVest, with the deals expected to conclude within three months.

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