MTN Nigeria’s CEO Karl Toriola wants every Nigerian to own MTN shares

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“Our intention is to build a local shareholder base of more than 2 million Nigerians over time as we remain focused on building the largest retail shareholder base in the country.” That was Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, announcing the telecom giant’s new public Offer to sell up to 575 million shares held by the MTN Group in MTN Nigeria.

Toriola wants as many  Nigerians as possible to own a stake at MTN Nigeria as the telecom company heads into the future after recording massive success in business and social impact in its first two decades of operating in Nigeria.

He presently sits atop the multinational with revenue of N1.2 trillion as of September 2021, over 67 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter of 2021, and total assets valued at N2.1 trillion as of September 2021.

In May 2001, when the telecom company made its inroad into the Nigerian market, Toriola said it worked with a core group of Nigerian investors who provided some seed funding and have been incredible partners as the business has grown and developed. And now it wants to diversify its ownership structure to give more Nigerians a share of its stock. Toriola wants more than two million Nigerians onboard over time.

In 20 years of operating in Nigeria, MTN now controls the largest share of Nigeria’s mobile market with over 38.41% market share, according to the October 2021 market share stats from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), making it the country’s largest telecoms player.

Beyond being a market leader and rated one of the top 2 most valuable companies in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria has also made a remarkable social impact in Nigeria. It’s not just about building the business; it’s also about adding value to the people and the nation. Over the course of this past 20 years, it has invested over ₦23.2 billion in social impact projects in 36 states and the FCT, and over 30 million people across over 2500 communities in Nigeria have been reached through the MTN Foundation intervention programmes.

It confirms that many Nigerians have been direct and indirect beneficiaries of the telecom company. It is difficult to truly quantify the level of MTN’s impact.

MTN has also enjoyed the loyalty and support of millions of subscribers over the last 20 years. It is one of the reasons Toriola believes there’s no better way to celebrate MTN’s milestone in Nigeria than to embark on a process to diversify its ownership further.

According to the MTN Nigeria CEO, the Offer for sale of up to 575 million shares held by the MTN Group in Nigeria has been deliberately structured to ensure that it broadens the local shareholder base, providing an opportunity for as many Nigerians as possible, especially the young population, to become shareholders in MTN Nigeria and so share in the value that MTN creates.

He said being able to offer ordinary Nigerians that buy MTN airtime in N100 blocks the opportunity to purchase the shares and “to own a stake in our future, however small, is a humbling way to recognise the contribution that they have made.”

Toriola also clarified that “it is MTN Group that has offered some of its shares for sale, not MTN Nigeria. By doing so, they are transferring some of the value they hold and the future value they create to Nigerian investors. I can’t think of a better way to deepen the partnership between us.”

The Offer is the first to provide a paperless subscription channel in Nigeria through the PrimaryOffer application administered by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX). This enables retail investors to subscribe for shares electronically from any part of the world, while applications can also be submitted through the Issuing Houses and Receiving Agents (authorised Stockbrokers and Nigerian banks).

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