UPDATE 1-MTN sees local ownership of Nigerian unit at 35% after share sale

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By Chijioke Ohuocha

ABUJA, May 16 (Reuters) – South Africa’s MTN Group sees local ownership of MTN Nigeria IPO-MTNN.LG at 35% from around 20% after a public offering, its finance chief told investors in Lagos on Thursday, according to two of those investors.

MTN plans to proceed with the public offering following a listing in Africa’s biggest economy on Thursday and after it resolves a $2 billion tax dispute with Nigeria’s attorney general.

MTN Nigeria on Wednesday announced plans to start trading its existing shares in Lagos at 90 naira each on Thursday, in a deal valuing the unit at 1.84 trillion naira ($6 billion). This follows the South African telecoms group’s agreement with Nigerian regulators to settle the long-running dispute.

Two investors who attended Thursday’s pre-listing meeting said MTN Group Chief Financial Officer Ralph Mupita presented an investment case for the Nigeria float where it would list 20.4 billion shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

MTN Group owns 78.8% of the Nigerian business. Mupita told investors that the shareholding of MTN Nigeria after the public offer would be in line with that of other multinationals listed in Nigeria. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Paul Carsten and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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