BTCL IPO Raises P462m Ahead Of April BSE Listing

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Mr. Paul Taylor, BTCL CEO

Mr. Paul Taylor, BTCL CEO

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) says its Initial Public Offer (IPO) drew attention of locals and with the record number of offers it will make it account to the largest number of shareholders on the local bourse when it becomes a public company from April 8, 2016.

The parastatal, which is a bellwether to the privatisation of state-owned companies, closed the IPO with the count of submissions made by Batswana in excess of 40,000 offers and proceeds exceeding P400 million.

Chief Executive Officer of the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), Kgotla Ramaphane said the numbers are a testimony that Batswana have accepted and embraced the privatisation agenda that PEEPA is driving on behalf of the government.

“What we can state is that we have received Offers for the 462 million shares that were available; meaning that we have managed to raise P462 million,” Ramaphane said, without giving exact figures as they still need to be verified as per the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listing rules. PEEPA advises government on privatisation.

The prospectus had noted that in the opinion of the directors, the minimum capital to be raised is P250 000 000, to be applied as working capital and to fund capital expenditure in relation to the growth of the company.

“The total Offers received are well in excess of this figure and thus we anticipate an oversubscription,” he added.

The IPO, which was launched on 11 January 2016, marks the final steps towards the company’s privatisation under the government’s Privatisation Policy adopted in 2000.

Under the public offer, government was selling 49% of its shares in BTCL through an IPO. The Offer comprised 462,000,000 Shares of which 250,000,000 are to be issued and allotted by the Company and 212,010,000 Shares to be sold by the Selling Shareholder.

The IPO was priced at BWP1.00 per share and 44% are available for purchase by citizens and citizen companies, while the remaining 5% is reserved for BTCL employees through a Trust.

“We are thrilled to welcome new shareholders on board for an even stronger BTCL. BTCL ke ya rona rotlhe,” added BTCL Managing Director, Paul Taylor.

BTCL is one of the leading providers in Botswana of voice telephony, both fixed and mobile as well as national and international internet, directory services, data services, virtual private networks and customer equipment to residential, government and business customers.

Its operating activities are managed along BTCL Wholesale – the wholesale arm of BTCL’s business; and Fixed and Mobile and Convergence Organisation (FMC) – which combines beMOBILE, Broadband and Fixed into a single business unit.

Although the market for fixed telephony is declining, BTCL does have approximately 163 000 lines, representing a tele-density of c.8.5%. This, with a current 100% market share, brings in P 720 000 000 in retail revenues, with a growth rate of c.4% per annum, according to its prospectus. The estimates on BTCL prospectus suggest that Mascom at 55% of the market share bosses the mobile market, followed by beMOBILE (28%) and Orange (17%).

The group revenues are currently at P1.5 billion and distributed at other revenue (39%), access lines (7%), national calls (16%) and beMOBILE (38%).

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