MTN’s Nigerian IPO in jeopardy?

MTN Group’s plans to launch a IPO process for its Nigerian unit may be under threat following an order by the Nigerian central bank to pay US$8.1bn that the latter claims was sent abroad illegally. The amount is over half of MTN’s market cap and the allegations sent the telecoms group’s shares plummeting 25%, marking a nine-year low.

According to Reuters reports, the demand from the central bank will affect market conditions and in turn affect MTN’s plans to IPO by the end of the year, or at all.

Nigeria’s central bank alleged that MTN used improperly issued certificates to transfer funds out of Nigeria after the telecoms giant converted shareholder loans in its Nigerian unit to preference shares in 2007. MTN denies the allegations.

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