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By Chijioke Ohuocha
LAGOS, Feb 7 (Reuters) - MTN Nigeria discussed plans to list on the Lagos stock exchange at a board meeting on Wednesday and aims to launch the IPO this year, a company source told Reuters.
Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator had planned to list its Nigerian unit in 2017, as part of an agreement with the Nigerian government, but delayed the IPO due to market conditions.
The telecoms firm has now revived those plans and is considering hiring a public relations firm to manage communications ahead of the listing in Nigeria in addition to its South African advisers, the source said.
MTN has about 51.4 million subscribers in Nigeria, which accounts for about a third of its revenue.
“There’s a lot of preparation going on due to the listing, which is expected to happen this year,” the source said.
Group Chief Executive Rob Shuter was attending the two-day meeting, which began on Wednesday, the source said.
In 2016 the telecom firm said it would list its local unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after agreeing to pay a reduced fine of $1.7 billion in a settlement with the Nigerian government over unregistered SIM cards.
It has appointed Stanbic IBTC Capital, Standard Bank of South Africa, Standard Advisory London and Citigroup Global Markets, as joint transaction advisors and global coordinators, with Stanbic acting as lead issuer.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has said it was working with MTN on the listing while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has discussed the IPO and how it could be structured. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Alexander Smith and Susan Fenton)