MTN Nigeria Communications Plc is concluding arrangements to allot free shares to shareholders who bought into the company during its December 2021 public offer for sale.

In a regulatory filing at the weekend, MTN Nigeria stated that it was concluding arrangements to allot incentive shares to shareholders who bought into its public offer and held on to at least 20 ordinary shares between January 31, 2022 and January 31, 2023.

MTN Nigeria had included an innovative incentive structure of one free share for every 20 purchased, subject to a maximum of 250 free shares per investor in its December 2021 public offer for sale. Thus, an additional 4.28 million shares will be allotted to qualifying investors who hold the shares allotted to them for 12 months till 31 January 2023.

The company stated that all qualified shareholders on the register of the company as at January 31, 2023 will have their incentive shares credited to their Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS)’s accounts, after the requisite regulatory approval.

To benefit from the incentive shares, a subscriber must have held at least 20 shares for the 12-month period and must be on the register of the company as at January 31, 2023.

MTN Nigeria’s N97.18 billion public offer had recorded a subscription of N135.53 billion, representing an oversubscription of 39.5 per cent.

MTN Nigeria had offered 575 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to the general retail investing public at a price of N169 per share. Application list for the offer had opened on December 1, 2021 and it closed by 5.00 pm on December 14, 2021, as scheduled.

Allotment details provided by MTN Nigeria indicated that additional 86.25 million shares were added to absorb oversubscription, in line with the provisions of the offer which allowed the issuer to absorb additional 15 per cent of subscriptions.

A breakdown showed that retail shareholders received full allotment despite the oversubscription while institutional shareholders under the book building phase were pro-rated as a result of the oversubscription.

In a major boost for financial inclusion and gender equity, a total of 114,938 new accounts  from new market participants were created at the stock market while approximately 76 per cent of successful applicants through the digital platform were women, with 85 per cent of these under 40.

Valid applications were received for 801.97 million shares, leading to the activation of the approved 15 per cent oversubscription clause of an additional 86.25 million of MTN Nigeria shares. In all, 661.25 million shares were allotted.

A total of 126,720 retail investors submitted valid applications and received full allotment; and institutional investors, including pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers, corporates, and foreign portfolio investors that participated in the bookbuild were allotted 72.09 perent of their applications. These include pension funds representing  6.5 million Nigerian contributors.

With the completion of the offer, MTN Group’s shareholding in MTN Nigeria reduced by 3.25 percentage points, from 78.83 per cent  to 75.58 per cent.

The MTN Nigeria’s public offer had set record as the first to be delivered through a digital platform, thus facilitating maximum participation by investors. Investors were able to submit applications through the issuing houses, stockbrokers, banks and online through a unique digital application platform, Primary Offer, administered by the NGX.

MTN Nigeria indicated that more than 89 per cent of retail offer subscribers applied through the Primary Offer platform through mobile and web.

Chief Executive Officer, MTN Group, Ralph Mupita said the group was pleased that the offer gave so many Nigerians the opportunity to become owners of MTN Nigeria.

“With over 6.6 million Nigerians directly or indirectly becoming shareholders in MTN Nigeria, the objective of broadening the shareholder base, and creating shared value has been achieved. We are proud that our offer was the first Nigerian public offer to use the digital application platform, Primary Offer, which enabled wider investor participation across Nigeria.

“We thank the Nigerian authorities for their support of this offer. We remain committed to playing our humble role in driving digital and financial inclusion in Nigeria over the medium,” Mupita said.

Chief Executive Officer,  MTN Communications Nigeria Plc, Karl Toriola, said it was a delight to welcome so many new shareholders to the MTN family, which is now up 11.6 times from the number before the offer.

“It has been inspiring to see so many Nigerians, many of whom are young, acquire shares for the first time, and use a digital platform to do so. This is the beginning of a journey to broaden our shareholding and there will be more opportunities to participate.

“We are pleased with the level of digital innovation we championed with this offer with the active collaboration of our lead issuing house and the various regulatory bodies. Deepening retail participation in Nigeria’s capital markets is a process, and we are off to a great start, demonstrating the role digital platforms can play in expanding access. I am particularly pleased that we completed this transaction in an accelerated time frame ensuring new shareholders can realize value almost immediately through participation in our 2021 full-year dividend,” Toriola said.

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