MTN Rwanda, the country’s biggest telco is considering direct listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), sources said, disclosing that the firm is also weighing options of acquiring stake in Korea Telecom Rwanda Network (KTRN).
If successful, the development could give the public the opportunity to own more than the 20 per cent share of the firm – currently held through Crystal Telecom Limited.
According to sources familiar with the arrangements, South African based MTN Group – which owns 80 per cent of MTN Rwanda – has began engaging local authorities on the matter.
Without divulging details, sources said that management and shareholders were confident of securing green light from capital market regulators.
A direct listing is preferred by firms that want to do a public listing but may not want to use underwriters or may not want to dilute existing shares by creating new ones or may want to avoid lockup agreements.
In the event of a direct listing, rather than create new shares, existing investors holding shares of the company can directly sell their shares to the public.
Direct Listing is often considered by firms as more convenient in comparison to the Initial Public Offering (IPO), which requires brokers, is time consuming and often costly.
Listing MTN Rwanda will, among other things, have implications on its corporate governance practices, leadership and influence on its priories.
Experts say that listing on the local bourse would give MTN Rwanda more autonomy from its parent company as well as more local representation on its board.
MTN Rwanda Chief Executive, Bart Hofker, declined to comment on the matter as he was travelling.
MTN Rwanda’s performance for the year 2018 ended on a positive note with revenues growing by 21.6 per cent to Rwf102.8 billion.
The company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation stood at Rwf30.1 billion as at the end of December while the net profit recorded was Rwf7.7 billion.
To support growth of revenue, MTN Rwanda would like to have direct access 4G LTE and is interested in buying a stake or take over KTRN with discussions currently at group level.
For 2019, the firm is optimistic on improved performance following a positive half year performance.
According to details from a conference call between the telco’s management and African Alliance, a continental investment banking group, the first half year 2019 in comparison to the first half of 2018, revenue growth was at 27.3 per cent year on year.
The New Times has also established that MTN Rwanda is weighing up options of acquiring stake in Korea Telecom Rwanda Network (KTRN) as it moves to strengthen its position in Rwanda’s data market.