Biggest IPO by an African company in America is underway – Nairametrics

Biggest IPO by an African company in America is underway – Nairametrics

Wireless towers operator, IHS Holding Ltd., is considering a potential initial public offering in America. Wendel SE, a shareholder in the company, disclosed this today, whilst noting that the deal could become the biggest listing ever by an African company in the United States.

IHS Holding Ltd had earlier paused the listing, explaining that the timing, the number of equities to be offered, and the price range of the shares not yet been concluded.

IHS Holding Ltd major shareholders;

Besides Wendel SE, a French private equity firm which is the majority shareholder in IHS, other owners include  America’s Investment powerhouse Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Africa’s largest carrier MTN Group Ltd.

Recall Nairametrics broke the news some months ago that the tower operator was in preference of a U.S. listing to London because some of the largest tower companies such as American Tower Corp. and Crown Holdings Inc. are all based in U.S. and trade at higher valuation multiples.

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With a $7 billion valuation, it is going to be the biggest listing by an African company in the U.S, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

IHS Holding Ltd started reviving work on a stock sale late last year after dropping the plan in 2018 due to political uncertainty surrounding the presidential election in Nigeria, its major market.

The IPO is one of at least two big tower offerings that are in the works. Vodafone Group Plc had disclosed in July that it will list its mobile masts business in Frankfurt next year.

About IHS: It is the largest mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East by tower count and the third-largest independent multinational tower company globally. Founded by Sam Darwish in Lagos, in 2001, the company specializes in building towers and managing sites for mobile network operators. It has operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Zambia, and Rwanda.

Following the recent acquisitions of tower portfolios of MTN and Etisalat in Nigeria, IHS owns and manages over 23,000 towers in Africa.

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