By Adam Clark

 

MTN Group Ltd. intends to shed a stake currently worth around $2.09 billion in telecommunications-infrastructure company IHS Holding Ltd., if IHS successfully carries out its plan for one of the largest ever African listings on a U.S. stock exchange.

South African telecoms company MTN said Friday that IHS had filed a registration document for an initial public offering in New York, although no financial details or timing were confirmed. IHS had been reported last year to be aiming for a valuation of around $8 billion overall, before abandoning the plan.

MTN currently holds a 29% stake in IHS, which operates more than 30,000 towers in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. A spokesman for MTN said an IPO would allow it to sell down its stake over time.

The company's other major shareholders include listed French investment company Wendel SE and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

IHS listing itself would continue a trend for telecommunications-tower companies to be spun out separately amid growing data use and investor appetite for infrastructure assets. Vodafone Group PLC raised $2.8 billion when it listed Vantage Towers AG in Germany earlier this year. African company Helios Towers PLC was valued at $1.45 billion when it listed in London in 2019.

Helios Towers' current market capitalization could provide an indication as to IHS's eventual valuation. Helios is valued at around $2.69 billion currently, having reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $226.6 million for 2020.

Applying a similar earnings multiple to IHS's adjusted Ebitda of $819 million in 2020 would indicate a valuation of around $9.7 billion. As of June 30, the company had $2.6 billion of debt and lease liabilities and $542 million of cash on its balance sheet.

On Friday, IPO research firm Renaissance Capital said it estimated that IHS could raise up to $1.5 billion from its listing.

 

Write to Adam Clark at adam.clark@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 17, 2021 11:03 ET (15:03 GMT)

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