Nigeria to get first new listing in 4 years ending IPO drought

Nigeria will next week break a 4-year drought for stock market listings when Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) starts the process for making its debut on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

SIFAX Group, which wholly owns SAHCO, will sell 406,074,000 shares in the aviation services firm via the stock exchange from 12 Nov to 19 Dec, the Bureau of Public Enterprises said in a statement.

The statement did not mention SAHCO’s valuation or how much shares were expected to sell for.

Initial public offerings dried up in Nigeria during the 2008 global financial crisis, when more than 60 percent of the stock market’s capitalisation was wiped out.

The benchmark share index has since rebounded, gaining 42 percent last year, but IPOs have yet to recover. The only listing since then was oil company Seplat’s dual listing in Lagos and London in 2014.

SAHCO was founded as a state-owned enterprise in 1996, before being privatised in 2009 when SIFAX took control, the Bureau of Public Enterprises said.

Of the shares up for sale, 41 percent are earmarked for public investors, while 10 percent will be reserved for company staff, it said.

Sources have said that Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation is also preparing for an IPO this year, while South African telecoms giant MTN Group is looking at a local listing of its Nigerian arm next year.