Starcomms Makes History as the First Telecom Firm to List On Stock Market

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Starcomms Plc, Nigeria's fourth largest telecommunications company yesterday made history in the industry by becoming the first operator to get listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Before Monday's listing on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Starcomms had successfully raised N64.35 billion through a private placement offer.

Proceeds from the private placement beefed up the company capital base. However two institutional investor Actis, and Emerging Capital Partners LLC, (ECP) divested some of their holdings from the company thus widening the shareholder base.

The shares of the company which were listed at 12.27pm made significant gain, as it went up five per cent after only five minutes of listing/trading to close at N14.33k.

Reacting to the development Maher Qubain, Chief Executive Officer said "At Starcomms, we do not just cook up figures. We operate as a transparent company and today's history making event is meant to drive our growth. We want to become the 3rd, if not 2nd biggest telecom operator in Nigeria by 2010. This is a promise, and at Starcomms, we keep our promise".

Mr. Qubain, briefing stock brokers on the company's performance sheet, stated "Starcomms now controls 3 per cent of the Nigerian telecom market. We also have 37 per cent of the fixed wireless sector. By the end of 2008, we would have reached a subscriber base level of 2.5 million. That is our target. Our current subscribers base is approximately 1.6 million by end of June 2008. I make bold to state that at Starcomms, we deliver on our promise".

The proceeds from the private placement will enable the company to expand its product range and network thereby bringing more telecom choices to Nigerians nationwide. Now, as the company achieves its landmark listing, we hope to watch its growth accelerate as a publicly-owned company. ECP is very pleased that Starcomms has emerged as the first company to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange." Both the private placement and listing on the floor of stock exchange were handled by Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Limited and IBTC Asset Management Company Ltd.