Telecommunication firm; MTN Uganda on October 11th, 2021 formally announced the opening of its IPO of 20% of its shares, following approvals by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Uganda and the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE). The telco’s Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte at the announcement called on the public to buy shares in the company at a value of UGX200 so they can be part of the telco’s activities.
Here, Mr. Vanhelleputte sheds more light on the MTN IPO, responding to some of the pertinent questions from the prospective retail investors.
How would you describe MTN Uganda as a company?
MTN Uganda is a subsidiary of the MTN Group, a leading emerging market operator with a clear vision to lead digital solutions for Africa’s progress, through its 277 million customers in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
That said, MTN Uganda is a leading telecoms company in Uganda with the primary objective of carrying on the business of a national operator of a telecommunications network, pursuant to the NTO license granted by the UCC.
MTN recently announced the opening of its initial public offer (IPO). Briefly share with us details of the offer?
The structure of the IPO is a secondary offer of 20% of the issued share capital of MTN Uganda Limited, with the selling shareholder being MTN Group. The total number of shares on offer amounts to 4.5 billion shares, at an offer price of UGX200. The minimum number of shares that can be applied for is 500 shares. Therefore, the minimum amount required to participate as an investor in this IPO is UGX100,000. We believe this is a reasonable minimum amount to attract broad retail investor participation.
What exactly is MTN offering to the public in the IPO?
Among our offerings are network services, digital and financial technology services, interconnect and roaming, sale of mobile devices, and MTN Mobile Money (yes! mobile money is included in the listing). The MTN Mobile Money services are conducted through our subsidiary MTN Mobile money limited Uganda that is 100% owned by MTN Uganda.
MTN has a presence in all the 134 districts of Uganda. Our services are delivered through a network of 119,077 Mobile Money agents, 200 service stores, and 13 main distributors. At the end of September 2021, MTN Uganda had 15 million customers, over 8.6 million MoMo users, and 4.7 million active data users.
What channels are available for the MTN IPO subscription?
The channels available for IPO subscription, include;
- The mIPO portal, on the myMTN app or USSD.
- Via the web using the USE’s Easy Portal web page at https://scd.use.or.ug/.
In the event an applicant does not have access to the Easy Portal web page or the m-IPO platform, they can engage any of our five authorized selling agents to assist with the application. Our m-IPO initiative is the country’s first paper-free IPO platform aimed at retail investors, in partnership with the USE, and will help position Uganda at the forefront of digitizing the capital markets for Africa.
Is the MTN offer incentivized to drive participation?
The offer provides for Incentive shares to be allotted to Ugandan Retail. Retail investors subscribing using the mIPO portal and MTN mobile money are eligible to receive 10 incentive shares for every 100 shares subscribed for and allocated in the IPO, whist retail investors using the eIPO and/or other subscription and payment channels will be eligible to receive 5 incentive shares for every 100 shares subscribed for allocated.
These incentives have been provided to further drive our localization agenda and achieve broad-based Ugandan ownership of the company. Further details on the offer can be found in the Prospectus.
What is your allotment priority for the shares?
The Prospectus breaks down the allocation policy for 4 categories of investors, namely; Ugandan Retail Investors, Ugandan Professional Investors, East African Community retail investors East African Community professional investors, and foreign investors. All these categories of investors are free to participate in the offer.
The allocation policy reflects our mindfulness of the role that Ugandans – the ‘omuntu wa bulijjo’ who comprise of our mobile money agents, our data, voice, and other customers have played in our growth and look forward to starting this new journey together.
What is the driving factor behind this IPO and the company’s expectations of this listing?
The decision to list MTN on the Uganda Securities Exchange is in line with our localization agenda aimed at prioritizing local investors with the goal of ensuring an opportunity for each Ugandan to own part of the company with all this aimed at deepening the relationship MTN has with the people of Uganda.
During MTN’s 23 years in Uganda, we have grown tremendously, thanks to the enabling environment availed by the Government of Uganda as well as the unwavering support and trust of the people of Uganda. We look forward to welcoming Ugandan investors as part-owners of a company that we have collectively built hinged on our belief that we are good together.
The listing is also in line with the obligations of MTN Uganda’s National Telecom Operator license, which requires its listing by June 2022.
How much will MTN raise through this IPO?
This IPO is a Secondary Offer, in which the selling shareholder, MTN International (Mauritius) Ltd, is offering over 4.4 billion shares at an offer price of UGX200 per offer share, as disclosed in the Prospectus. The funds raised through the offer will accrue to the selling shareholder, net of related expensed.
It’s important to note that MTN group has a commitment to investing USD$300 million (approximately UGX1 trillion) in network expansion in the next 3 years so as to deliver quality services to all
What is your broader strategy as a company and how will it deliver growth for the company and value for the anticipated shareholders in the short and medium-term?
Our strategic intent is aligned to MTN Group in driving leading digital solutions, in this case, to support Uganda’s progress. This involves investment in technology platforms to not only improve customer experience but offer an even wider range of services.
Data and Fintech services remain key to driving growth in the medium and long term.
Despite the growth of mobile money platforms on the continent, sub-Saharan Africa still presents great opportunities for mobile money due to its large unbanked population currently at approximately 57%. The opportunities are significant to capture customers who would want to save, lend and make financial transactions without the need to hold a bank account, making it convenient and easily accessible.
Today MTN Uganda has 15 million customers. Only about 4 million are mobile data users. With the smartphone penetration going up we can expect double or triple mobile internet users in the years to come.
The regulatory environment has evolved over time, occasionally new policies are implemented that affect business operations. What mechanics do you have in place to ensure full compliance towards business sustainability?
As a business, we are committed to complying with all regulations. We have deliberate engagements with all our regulators, governments, and ministries to ensure that we have a conducive working environment that allows us to address issues that may arise.
How does one apply for shares in MTN Uganda?
MTN in partnership with the Uganda Securities Exchange has created a platform that enables you to buy shares via mobile money from the comfort of your home. You simply need to dial *165*65# to open an SCD account, which serves as your account for shares. To open your SCD Account using MTN MoMo follow the steps below:
First Dial *165*65#
- Then select Option 1 to submit SCD Account Application.
- Enter your full National ID Number.
- Select your preferred broker and then choose option 1 to accept terms and conditions.
- Enter your mobile money PIN and wait for a confirmation SMS.
- After setting up the account, please follow the prompts to apply and pay for the shares.
You may also apply for shares using USE’s Easy Portal web page at https://scd.use.or.ug/. This option is available to Applicants on a self-service or assisted basis. Assisted USE Easy-Portal applications involve the provision of guidance by an Authorised Selling Agent to an Applicant in populating and submitting an Application on the USE Easy-Portal.
Can I apply for these MTN shares if I am not an MTN customer?
Yes, you can. Non-MTN customers can use USE’s Easy Portal web page to create an SCD account and apply for shares. This can be done on a self-service or assisted basis. Kindly engage any of the five Authorised Selling Agents listed in the Prospectus or visit any MTN service center or Stanbic bank branch and you will be assisted.