Vodacom Tanzania has pushed forward the offer timeframe for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) in Tanzania.
Vodacom Tanzania began operations in 2000 and is the group’s second biggest market. As at December 31, 2016, Vodacom Tanzania recorded a high rate of subscribers at 12.4 million subscribers.
“Vodacom Tanzania expects a continued influx of applications for shares during the course of this week. Also, following consultation with the government of Tanzania and the respective investment communities, including members of Parliament, groups of civil servants and officials of the constituent member organisations of the Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives, we have requested and received approval from the CMSA [Capital Markets & Securities Authority] to extend the offer period by three weeks to Thursday, 11 May,” said Ian Ferrao, Vodacom Tanzania MD.
“This extension will help ensure full participation by retail and institutional investors, who have requested more time. We thank all Tanzanian investors that have participated in the initial offer period to date and look forward to welcoming further new shareholders shortly,” Ferrao added.
Ferrao also said that shares slots have now been proposed, and the allotment of the shares are to take place starting from 19 May with final listing of Vodacom Tanzania expected by early June.
The estimated target of funds Vodacom plans to raise with the listing is R2.8 billion, which would be recorded as Tanzania biggest IPO to date – if the listing is successful. At the moment, the SA-based company is currently on the listing of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
“It will be important for the operator and the government in that a successful IPO will demonstrate investor confidence in the company, and the economic policies and path the government is taking. A further element of importance is that a successful IPO will enable the entity to use the capital generated from the IPO to invest in its business and grow revenues, etc,” said Robert Hurst, director of enterprise research at Africa Analysis. He said this in the view that under-subscription could cause lack of investors, and this could be a probable way out of such a situation.
Well, you may start wondering if foreigners could also invest in the company; this isn’t possible at the moment due to the present Tanzanian domestic ownership rules. However CMSA spokesperson Charles Shirima was quoted by Bloomberg last month saying the authorities might consider offering up its shares to foreigners if there was still under-subscription.
“For an IPO of this magnitude to be successful, you need to open it to foreign investors, even from greater East Africa for starters, because Kenya’s stock market is far more developed than Tanzania’s,” said George Kalebaila, director for Telecoms and Internet of things in Africa.
Kalebaila also added that the government might not be flexible in yielding towards foreign investors because opening the IPO to foreign investors will do less to improve the local empowerment.