MTN, Wendel Say IHS Towers Kickstarts Second Attempt at IPO

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IHS Holding Ltd. shareholders said the pan-African telecom-tower company has revived plans for an initial public offering, almost a year after abandoning a previous effort.

MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless carrier, and French investment firm Wendel SE both said Friday that IHS has filed a registration statement relating to a potential New York IPO. The timing, number of shares to be offered and price range haven’t been determined, Johannesburg-based MTN said in a statement.

IHS delayed IPO plans last year in part due to a dispute with Wendel over post-listing voting rights, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The company had been seeking a valuation of $8 billion including debt, a deal that would be among the largest U.S. IPOs featuring an African company.

MTN owns a 29% stake in IHS and valued its holding at 30.5 billion rand ($2.1 billion) as of end June. The carrier sees the potential IPO as a key step in a long-running disposal plan, aimed at paying down debt and simplifying the business. The group has begun work on separating its fiber and fintech units, and is looking to exit Middle East markets such as Afghanistan. MTN shares gained as much as 3% in Johannesburg. Wendel, which owns almost 26% of IHS, was trading 3.6% higher as of 11:48 a.m. in Paris.

Source: Bloomberg

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