MTN’s Largest Shareholder, PIC Reportedly Calls For Board Changes

Public Investment Corp. (PIC), MTN’s majority shareholder, is reportedly calling for the restructuring of the board of the mobile-phone firm to avoid the legal, regulatory and political disputes on the continent.
Bloomberg was informed by people familiar with the matter that the PIC gained a 26 percent share in the Johannesburg-based company in late November last year and used the opportunity to push for the replacement of Phuthuma Nhleko, the board Chairman.

It was, however, also revealed that Africa’s largest fund manager, which also happens to be South African state-owned, sent a letter to MTN demanding a board reshuffling, which resulted in the appointment of more politically-connected members.
Last month, the mobile network operator, announced plans for Nhleko’s exit and replacement, along with other board changes and the introduction of a new and separate group of advisers.

PIC’s wishes for an evolution of the board were confirmed by MTN’s CEO, Rob Shuter, in a London interview last week.
MTN’s media office didn’t offer any further comments.

The PIC, which manages pension funds for South African government employees, wants the new chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, and the board to settle outstanding issues such as a $2bn tax fine in Nigeria, the sources said.

The MTN Group announced new changes to its Board of Directors with the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, joining the board by July 1, 2019.
Another Nigerian, Dr Aisha Abdulahi, also joins the board as a member of the International Advisory Board, which will be rolled out on July 1, 2019.

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