Orange Côte d’Ivoire IPO raises record capital on West Africa regional bourse

The listing of Orange Côte d'Ivoire on the BRVM raised record capital and reveals the great potential for governments in the region to raise capital through privatisations.



The telephone company Orange Côte d’Ivoire’s recent listing on West Africa’s regional Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) in Abidjan, on 30 December, is the biggest capital raise in the stock exchange’s history.

The listing came after the government sold a 9.95% stake in the ownership of the telecom operator through an initial public offering (IPO) of 14,990,207 shares. The offer closed early after raising CFA141.0bn ($233m). Adama Coulibaly, Côte d’Ivoire’s minister of economy and finance, chaired the listing ceremony.

BRVM DG Edoh Kossi Amenounvé said: “There is no happier event for a stock exchange than the listing of a new company, especially in a context where this type of operation is becoming increasingly rare.”

It is the second IPO on the BRVM in three years, following the IPO of aviation company NAS Ivoire Holding, also known as Menzies Aviation, which opened in November.

Region holds great potential for privatisations

Amenounvé said earlier that the Orange IPO “will show other state-owned companies that it is important to come to the market. It is a privatisation by the Ivory Coast Government and that will be an example to the other countries in our region.”  He said between 80 and 100 state-owned companies in the region could be listed.

“Because of the situation our governments are facing in terms of raising capital on the international market, they may look now to the possibility of raising capital using privatisation. We have been expecting this IPO for many years.”

The government first announced in 2016 that it would sell part of its 14.95% share in Orange Côte d’Ivoire, which arose from a merger with land-line operator Côte d’Ivoire Telecom.

The first day of trading saw the price rise to CFA10,210, up from the IPO price which had been CFA9,500 ($15.70) per share, with a reduced price of CFA7,600 for employees.

This gave the company a total market capitalisation (value of shares listed) at CFA1.5trn ($2.5bn). This is very similar to the value of shares listed for Sonatel, another subsidiary of Orange, based in Senegal. The two telcos make up 40% of the total market capitalisation of the BRVM.

MTN is the biggest mobile operator in Côte d’Ivoire with 39% market share, while Orange Côte d’Ivoire has a 35.5% share and Onatel, local subsidiary of Moov Africa, has 25.5%.

BRVM launches new trading boards

In January, the BVRM launched three market compartments and two new indices.

The new equity market segments are:

  • Prestige – companies with at least 10 years of activity, market capitalisation of at least CFA50bn ($82m), free float of at least 20% of the capital, regular and timely publication of all information for the last year and commitment to corporate social responsibility. It replaces the BRVM first tier.
  • Principal – the board for other main stocks, replaces the BRVM second tier.
  • Croissance (growth) –intended to host small and medium-enterprises and companies with strong growth potential.

The new stock market indices are BRVM 30 for the 30 most-traded stocks over the past three months, and BRVM Prestige for all stocks on the Prestige board, to be revised annually. The previous BRVM Composite index for all listed stocks continues.

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