April 20, 2018 / 4:20 PM / in 6 months

UPDATE 1-MTN picks lead managers for Nigerian unit's IPO

(Adds details, background)

By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS, April 20 (Reuters) - South African telecoms firm MTN has appointed Nigerian investment firm Chapel Hill Denham as lead manager for the initial public offering of its Nigerian business in Lagos later this year, two sources told Reuters on Friday.

South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank, Renaissance Capital and Vetiva Capital were picked as joint issuers. The telecoms firm also appointed seven placement agents that would help market the offering, the sources said.

The company was meeting with local and foreign analysts in Lagos on Friday to help them understand its business and operations, ahead of the forthcoming listing, the sources said.

MTN Nigeria declined to comment.

MTN Group Chief Executive Rob Shuter told Reuters last week that the telecoms firm aims to list its Nigerian unit on the Lagos bourse via an IPO this year.

Shuter said that IPO plans were well advanced and the company would provide exact terms in the next few months.

According to pre-IPO documents seen by Reuters in February, MTN aims to list its Nigerian unit worth $5.23 billion by July and raise funds to cut debt.

It plans to raise at least $400 million from the IPO to pay preference shareholders and go on a roadshow between May and June.

The telecoms firm is working with Stanbic IBTC Capital, Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Advisory London and Citigroup Global Markets, as joint advisors and global coordinators, with Stanbic acting as lead issuer.

Africa’s biggest telecoms firm had planned to list its Nigerian unit in 2017, as part of a settlement with the Nigerian government over unregistered SIM cards for which it was fined $1.7 billion fine.

It subsequently delayed the IPO due to market conditions. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton)

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