Vodacom Group’s Tanzanian unit has received regulatory approval to extend the deadline of its share sale for three weeks, allowing investors more time to take part in the country’s biggest initial public offering to date.
The offer will now expire on 11 May, Ian Ferrao, MD of the Vodacom-owned business, said in a statement on Tuesday. The extension will give retail and institutional investors more time to take part, he said.
“Vodacom Tanzania expects a continued influx of applications for shares during the course of this week,” Ferrao said.
Vodacom, the Johannesburg-based operation of UK’s Vodafone Group, is offering 476bn shillings (R2,8bn) of shares in the mobile operator after the government ordered all telecommunications companies in the country to sell at least a 25% stake on the Dar es Salaam exchange to boost domestic ownership. Once completed, the sale will boost the bourse’s capitalisation by at least 2,4% to about 20,7 trillion shillings, according to data on its website.
The final listing is now expected by 6 June, Ferrao said. On 14 April, Fortius Rutabingwa, head of market research at adviser Orbit Securities, said the IPO is undersubscribed.
Tanzania’s telecoms industry was worth about R13,3bn by the end 2016, Vodacom said in its prospectus, citing estimates by International Data Corp.
Vodacom posted a 9% decline in profit last year to 29,1bn shillings, following a 75% drop in 2015. Growth was underpinned by the data and mobile-money payment segments, which grew by 23,7% and 10,5% respectively, while voice revenue fell by 4%.
“The timing of this mandatory IPO has been unfavourable for Vodacom primarily due to current poor liquidity in the market and also coming on the heels of the company trying to recover from a period of financial downturn that started in 2014,” said Nathan Chiume, an independent share analyst. — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP