Real owners of MTN Nigeria revealed

MTN Nigeria office
MTN Nigeria office

Last Thursday’s listing of MTN Nigeria shares on the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has made it possible to identify the shareholders of the telecoms firm.

Many Nigerians believed the Nigerian government owned part of the South African firm through an unspecified equity holding by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

But a review of the listing memorandum filed by MTN Nigeria in support of its application for the enlistment of its shares on the NSE revealed the profiles of the shareholders of the company.

The list did not include either the Nigerian government or the NSIA. PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the NSIA investment “is very small” and could not have been listed among those of the big players.

The document dated May 15, 2018, showed 11 owners of MTN Nigeria. They own the entire 20,354,513,050 Ordinary Shares of the company valued at about N407.1 billion as at the time MTN applied to be listed.

S/NoShareholderNo of Shares HeldValue of Shareholding N (000)Percentage equityRepresentative  on the BoardCountry of Origin
1MTN International (Mauritius) Limited15485544050N309,710,8810.7608
2Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited1988269050397653810.0977
3Hermitage Overseas Corporation806886900161377380.0396Victor OdiliNigeria
4Mobile Telephone Network N.I.C.B.V559720150111944030.0275
5Government Employees Pension Fund (Represented by Public Investment Corporation SOC Limited)35528165071056330.0175
6Celtelecom Investment Limited33347410066694820.0164Pascal DozieNigeria
7One Africa Investment Limited26509215053018430.013Sani Mohammed BelloNigeria
8Universal Communications Ltd20052640040105280.0099Babatunde FolawiyoNigeria
9N-Cell Limited16348755032697510.008Gbenga OnyebodeNigeria
10SASPV Limited14442900028885800.0071Ahmed DasukiNigeria
11NISPV Limited5180205010360410.0025Ahmed DasukiNigeria
TOTAL20354513050N407,090,2611

They include the majority shareholder, MTN International (Mauritius) Limited, which has the controlling 76.08 per cent equity, or 15,485,544,050 shares valued at about N309.71 billion, and Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited with 9.77 per cent stake or 1,988,269,050 shares valued at about N39.77 billion.

Also included are six Nigerians, who are non-executive directors of the board. Each represents various foreign interests in the company.

Victor Odili, a Nigerian, and Chairman of Aeromaritime Group of companies, a group specialising in the maritime and oil and gas sectors of Nigeria’s economy, is a member of the board. He holds 806,886,900 shares, or 3.96 per cent interest, valued at about N16.14 billion indirectly on behalf of Hermitage Overseas Corporation.

Also, Pascal Dozie, a Nigerian and founder of the defunct Diamond Bank PLC, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He holds 340,409,900 shares, or 1.67 per cent equity valued at N6.67 billion, indirectly, on behalf of Celtelecom Investment Limited, NISPV Limited.

Another Nigerian, Sani Mohammed Bello, a co-founder of AMNI Petroleum, an indigenous oil and gas exploration companies, is the vice chairman of the board. He holds 265,092,150 shares (1.30 per cent equity) estimated at about N5.3 billion indirectly on behalf of One Africa Investment Limited.

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Babatunde Folawiyo, a Nigerian and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, holds 218,815,100 shares, or 1.07 per cent equity, valued at N4.01 billion on behalf of Universal Communications NISPV Limited.

Similarly, Gbenga Oyebode, a Nigerian and founding partner of Aluko & Oyebode law firm, represents the interest of N-Cell NISPV Limited. He holds 181,776,250 shares, or 0.89 per cent equity, valued at N3.27 billion.

Ahmed Dasuki, a Nigerian and founder of Quaditect Consultants, represents NISPV Limited/ SASPV Limited, which controls 177,717,850 shares, or 0.75 per cent equity valued at about N2.89 billion.

Government Employees Pension Fund (Represented by Public Investment Corporation SOC Limited) were also listed as owners with 355,281,650 shares (1.75 per cent equity) valued at about N7.11 billion.

Also, Mobile Telephone Network N.I.C.B.V holds 559,720,150 shares, or 2.75 per cent, valued at about N11.19 billion.

Robert Shuter, Ralph Mupita, Jens Schulte-Bockum, Ferdinand Moolman, Paul Norman and Karl Olutokun Toriola serve as representatives of MTN Group on the Board of Directors of the company.

New Status

With the listing of the company’s shares on the NSE, MTN Nigeria becomes the first privately owned telecoms company in Nigeria to attain that status.

The listing of the company on the premium board of the NSE on April 18, 2019, resulted in the change of the company from a private company to a publicly quoted telecoms company on the NSE.

MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of MTN International (Mauritius) Limited, was incorporated in the Republic of Mauritius, with its ultimate holding company, MTN Group.

The company was incorporated on November 8, 2000. But, it did not commence operations until 2001. Since then, the company has remained in operations for almost 18 years in Nigeria.

MTN Nigeria is reputed to be Nigeria’s largest telecoms operators, with about 67 million subscribers, controlling about 39 per cent mobile market share.

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