MTN Group executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko has sold shares worth about R123m as he prepares to hand over the day-to-day running of Africa’s biggest wireless company to incoming CEO Rob Shuter.
Nhleko will also benefit from the termination of share options valued at R130m, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement after the market closed on Wednesday. He will return to his previous role as nonexecutive chairman when Shuter joins from Vodafone Group on 17 March.
MTN said in November 2015 that Nhleko would retake the helm after CEO Sifiso Dabengwa resigned in the wake of a record US$5,2bn fine in Nigeria.
The chairman led negotiations with the country’s authorities, eventually agreeing to pay about $1bn, and hired Shuter as his successor.
As CEO for almost nine years until 2011, Nhleko transformed MTN from a small South African wireless carrier into a telecommunications giant with customers in 22 countries.
He sold about 1,08m shares at R113,86 each. He had just over 2m shares at the end of 2015, according to MTN’s annual report.
MTN shares declined 0,6% to R113,20 by the close in Johannesburg, extending the year’s decline to 15%. That values the company at R217bn. — (c) 2016 Bloomberg LP