MTN Group is close to agreeing an US$800-million settlement with Nigerian authorities over a claim it illegally transferred $8.1-billion funds out of the country, according to a person familiar with the situation.
A deal hasn’t been signed and could yet fall through, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the talks are ongoing. The story was first reported by Lagos-based newspaper Punch.
“MTN Nigeria continues to engage with the relevant Nigerian authorities to ensure a mutually acceptable resolution of the matter,” a spokesman for Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales said in an e-mailed statement. Calls to a Nigerian central bank spokesman didn’t connect. The Nigerian presidency declined to comment.
MTN shares jumped after the Punch story was published on Wednesday, before losing ground to trade 0.8% higher at R81.70 as of 11.28am in Johannesburg. The stock has declined more than 25% since the allegations were made in late August. — Reported by Emele Onu and Loni Prinsloo, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP