Airtel could only deliver 130 out of the 300 required high net-worth investors demanded by the NSE ahead of its lisitng. But even as things have gotten tricky, there may be a way out.
Last week, Airtel Africa announced it was going to follow up an IPO on the London Stock Exchange with a listing on The Exchange of its largest African market, Nigeria. But the listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which was supposed to happen today, July 5, appears to have hit a snag.
Having fallen short of the required minimum of 300 high net-worth investors, Airtel failed to meet up with the NSE’s minimum pre-listing requirement as it could only call upon 130 shareholders.
The telecom giant was looking to join fellow telco, MTN, as the only telecommunication companies on the NSE Premium Board — something the South African company had achieved through a “listing by introduction” that happened in May. But things haven’t quite panned out as they would have hoped, though they’ve been given an out.
Airtel had applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission to have its shares listed on The Exchange in June, but even as they have fallen short of the requirements, the NSE has opted to grant the company a waiver to meet the required number once its shares are officially listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
In a pre-listing interactive session which was held at The Exchange yesterday, July 4, Airtel disclosed that its stock will be trading at NGN 363.00 per share on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. On the London Stock Exchange, the price was fixed at 80 pence per share.
According to Airtel, a total of 39,227,968 ordinary shares are to be listed as the company gears up for the main listing session that is expected to still go ahead today.
Through the offer, the telco is targeting a market capitalisation of NGN 1.4 Tn (USD 3.9 Bn) and its shares will be made available to only high net-worth investors with investable assets worth no less than USD 3 Mn.