Deepening local participation in our future
The Nigerian capital markets have played an integral role in the growth and development of MTN in Nigeria. From the seed funding that a core group of Nigerian investors provided when we began this journey in 2001, to the credit facilities and debt products that we use to finance capital expenditure and the listing of our shares on the Nigerian Exchange Group in 2019, which created the platform for the journey we are going on today.
But the role of capital markets is not just to enable large companies to access finance. Perhaps their most important role is to provide a structure through which all citizens can participate in their success. An accessible, liquid and well-regulated capital market provides retail investors with the confidence to play a role, either directly, by purchasing shares, or indirectly, through their pension funds or mutual funds that are managed on their behalf. A strong, diverse and inclusive capital market provides a route for ordinary Nigerians to access financial products like insurance, pensions and wider asset management services. It helps create financial resilience and improves livelihoods.
This is one of the reasons why I am so proud of the journey that the MTN Group has announced to sell some of their shares. The offer for sale of up to 575 million ordinary shares held by the MTN Group in Nigeria has been deliberately structured to ensure that it broadens our local shareholder base, providing an opportunity for as many Nigerians as possible to become shareholders in MTN Nigeria and so share in the value that we create.
Why is this so important to me? Because without the loyalty and support of our millions of subscribers over the last 20 years, we would not be in the position we are in today. The ordinary Nigerians that buy our airtime in N100 blocks are the foundation on which the network has been built. Being able to offer them the opportunity to buy our shares and to own a stake in our future, however small, is a humbling way to recognise the contribution that they have made.
That is why the transaction has been structured to maximise long-term retail participation. It is why we are bringing the full power of our marketing engine, a hybrid digital and physical application process and an extensive network of licensed agents to ensure that we have as broad a footprint as possible, from the North to the South and from the East to the West.
It is also why we are offering a unique incentive to investors who buy and hold onto those shares for at least 12 months. Every investor will be given 1 free share for every 20 shares purchased, up to a limit of 250 bonus shares per investor. The incentive is open to investors who buy and hold the shares allotted continuously for 12 months from the closing date of the Offer because this is a journey that we want to go on together. This is the beginning of a deeper, long-term partnership with Nigeria and Nigerians.
Our intention is to build a local shareholder base of more than 2 million Nigerians through the progressive sale of MTN Group shares over time. That journey will not be complete with this transaction, but we remain committed to that ambition. We remain focused on building the largest retail shareholder base in the country, creating a highly liquid market in MTN Nigeria shares that enables millions more to buy and sell those shares at their leisure. Just imagine the things we can achieve together if we are successful. Think about the possibilities that partnership enables.
I am confident that we will be successful. I am confident that our future together represents the best possible partnership for our business, for Nigeria and for all Nigerians. I urge anyone who is interested in participating to go to our website, download the Primary Offer App or contact their stockbroker to apply.