Abuja - MTN Group Limited is currently seeking fresh funds through the sale of bonds to offset a N330bn ($1bn) Nigerian fine, pay dividends and address capital expenditure, Punch reports.
The telecoms operator is set to weigh investor interest in the possible bond offering. It has, therefore, mandated Barclays Bank Plc, Bank of America Corporation’s Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Incorporated and Standard Bank Group Limited to arrange a series of fixed-income investor meetings in the United States and the United Kingdom starting from September 9, Bloomberg quoted the Johannesburg-based company as saying in a statement on Wednesday.
The dollar-denominated bond offering “is expected to follow subject to market conditions,” the firm said.
This came just as the Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, on Wednesday opened up on the dispute leading to the imposition of N1.04tn on the telecoms company for failing to disconnect 5.2 million improperly registered subscribers on its network.
MTN is due to pay an outstanding N280bn of the Nigerian fine in six installments over the next three years. The first payment, which MTN Nigeria says it has already settled, was due on July 8.
The company “is right to consider issuing bonds so as to make the most of the low-yield environment,” Dray said, adding, “This is a good time to sell bonds as there is a strong demand for emerging-market corporates amid a hunt for yield.”
The Senate in June directed its committee on communications to invite all relevant stakeholders to explain the reduction of the fine imposed on MTN for failing to deactivate 5,2 million unregistered subscribers on its network according to News24.
The record fine, imposed late last year, was reduced from N1,04 trillion to N780 billion.
Among those summoned to appear the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Communication Technology, Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, Accountant General of the Federation, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Managing Director of MTN Nigeria and all other parties involved in all the negotiations.
- News 24