MTN Rwanda looking at share sale, network upgrades

MTN’s[JSE:MTN] Rwanda unit is looking at the possibility of a share sale on the country’s stock exchange and is raising funds for planned network upgrades.

A listing would follow an initial public offering of MTN’s Ghanaian division earlier this year, pursued by Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales in exchange for new spectrum.

MTN’s Nigeria business has pledged to sell shares in Lagos, while an IPO in Kampala is under review for Uganda.

“It is something we are continuously looking at. When the time is right, we will look at it,” MTN Rwanda chief financial officer Diatile Lily Zondo said in an interview in the capital, Kigali on Monday. The company isn’t under regulatory pressure to list, she said, unlike in Nigeria, MTN’s biggest market.

MTN’s Rwanda unit is looking to secure a syndicated loan of about 50 billion francs ($60m to upgrade its network, and is in talks with eight local lenders. The facility should be in place before the end of November, the CFO said.

The Johannesburg-based company had 3.6 million customers in the East African country as of the end of March, just 1.6% of the overall 221 million.

MTN Nigeria’s IPO plans have been thrown into doubt by an ongoing dispute with authorities over an allegedly illegal transfer of funds out of the country and the non-payment of back taxes.

The wireless carrier is fighting the claims, and said last month it still planned to go ahead with the share sale in Lagos.