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Vodacom Tanzania considers delaying IPO deadline

Vodacom Tanzania is considering whether to push back the deadline for parties to register their interest in its upcoming IPO, which is thus far under-subscribed.

With the current deadline set on 19th April, the operator is reportedly also considering allowing international participants, with East Africa a particular area of interest. Vodacom is offering TZS476 billion worth of shares, making the offer Tanzania’s biggest IPO to date.

While the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange is banking on the IPO raising its market capitalisation by 2.4% to around TZS20.7 trillion, others are not so optimistic. Fortius Rutabingwa, head of market research at the broker Orbit Securities, noted that the IPO was “still below target”, while fellow broker Core Securities has only committed to buying half of the shares it had aimed to, pledging TZS100 billion ($44.7 million).

However, Vodacom itself was more upbeat, with head of corporate affairs Rosalynn Mworia saying: “We have witnessed increased interest and applications over the past few days, which we hope will see to a successful close of Vodacom’s IPO”.

All eight of Tanzania’s operators are legally compelled to float 25% of their shares, under threat of penalties or losing their licences. Non-domestic parties currently may not bid in the auction, but the Capital Markets and Securities Authority may renege on this if Tanzanian investors do not acquire the available stakes.

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