Tanzania’s Vodacom files prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO)

vodacom shop

Vodacom Tanzania, part of South Africa’s Vodacom Group, has filed a prospectus with Tanzania’s capital markets regulators for an initial public offering (IPO), the company’s managing director told Reuters on Monday.

Tanzania’s biggest mobile phone operator filed its application for an IPO with the state-run Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) and Dar es Salaam stock exchange (DSE) on Friday, managing director Ian Ferrao said in a message.

“We now await their assessment before proceeding with dates to open the offer,” he said.

Pricing of the share sale is confidential until the regulator approves it, he said.

The country’s eight operators are required by law to have 25 percent local ownership by Dec. 31. The other two major operators, Millicom subsidiary Tigo and a local unit of India’s Bharti Airtel, are yet to file for IPOs.

Vodacom Tanzania managing director, Ian Ferrao
Vodacom Tanzania managing director, Ian Ferrao

Industry sources said Tanzania’s mobile phone companies will likely complete the listing process in the first quarter of 2017. If they miss the mandatory listing deadline, it is unclear if they will be fined or have their network operating licences suspended.

The government hopes the move will bring more transparency and offer the public a share in the industry’s profits. Telecommunications is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Tanzania’s economy.

But analysts say rushing through public offerings could lead to unsold shares, given that only Tanzanians are allowed to buy them.

Source: ET Telecom