MTN to sell shares in Nigeria unit

MTN Group Ltd. plans to sell shares in the carrier’s Nigeria unit worth about 101 billion naira ($244 million), continuing a plan to dispose of assets and pay down debt.

Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator will offer 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, which listed in Lagos in 2019, according to a statement on Thursday.

The move is part of a broader plan to sell about 14% of the parent company’s holding in its largest and most profitable unit, the group said.

MTN shares rose as much as 3.6% in Johannesburg, the most in almost a month.

The stock has surged 138% this year, the best performer on the FTSE/JSE Africa Top40 Index, as investors cheer various cash-raising exercises.

The Nigeria sale comes as MTN looks to finalize a sale-and-lease back of its South African telecom-mast portfolio and list shares in the Uganda operation in Kampala.

The company also netted some proceeds from the initial public offering of towers firm IHS Holding Ltd. in New York last month.

MTN said third-quarter service revenue gained by 19%, driven by data and fintech sales.

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