MTN boss could get R300-million after takeover

Phuthuma Nhleko, CEO of MTN Group, could receive R300-million from the group’s takeover of a structure that was set up to boost black ownership of the company, Business Report said on Wednesday.

MTN intended taking over the structure—known as Newshelf—and on Monday announced that in 2009, it would sell shares directly to black South Africans.

Newshelf holds 13,1% in MTN on behalf of key directors and black staff.

The market value of the Newshelf stake, which was bought six years ago, is R24-billion but it had debts of about R21,8-billion.

In the unwinding, MTN would sell a 6% stake—which translates into equity ownership of up to 25% in MTN South Africa—to black members of the SA public as well as its black staff by the first quarter of next year, Business Report said.

However, the cellular operator said the size of the public offer might change “depending on market conditions and the extent of reinvestment by the Newshelf beneficiaries in the new broad-based structure.”

The group will pay a special dividend of R3,1-billion to the 3 200 beneficiaries of Newshelf.

Rajay Ambekar, a portfolio manager at Cadiz African Harvest, told the newspaper he estimated that each beneficiary would receive about R1-million.

“However, Nhleko is likely to walk away with about R300-million because he owns about 8% of Newshelf,” Business Report said.

Sifiso Dabengwa and Rob Nisbet, MTN Group’s chief operating officer and chief financial director, respectively, could receive R180-million each, the newspaper added. - Sapa

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