In yet another record for Botswana, the BTCL IPO has seen an unprecedented majority of offers made by individuals, with over 90% of the 462, 000, 000 accepted offers received from individuals and citizen owned companies. The balance was received from institutional investors, who drove the IPO to an over-subscription status.
The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) on Friday listed on the main board of the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) following the closure of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) on 4th March. This marked the first privatization of a public enterprise that the Public Enterprises Evaluation & Privatization Agency (PEEPA) has completed, which involved the sale of shares of a public enterprise, as part of Government’s privatization agenda as defined in the Privatization Policy.
The company, through its communications agency, Hotwire, has indicated that a total of 50, 301 qualifying applications were received; this equated to offer for 776, 333, 400 shares, well in excess of the 462, 000, 000 shares available to the public. This represents a 1.68 times over-subscription which made it amongst the largest and most historic IPOs in Botswana’s history.
“In yet another record for Botswana, the BTCL IPO also saw an unprecedented majority of offers made by individuals, with over 90% of the 462, 000, 000 accepted offers received from individuals and citizen owned companies. The balance was received from institutional investors who drove the IPO to an over-subscription status,” the communication mentioned.
It noted that allocation was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the BSE, with all applicants in relation to the 462, 000, 000 shares allotted their first 900, 000 shares applied for in full. Those applying for shares in excess of 900, 000, the communication indicated, received the first 900, 000 shares and approximately 11.45% of the balance applied for. “Refunds, where applicable, will be paid to the bank account detailed on the application form by Friday 15th April 2016,” it said.
Speaking during the listing ceremony at the Exchange House, PEEPA Chief Executive Officer, Kgotla Ramaphane said the BTCL transformation was complete. “You have moved from a parastatal to a Limited Company. Today you are becoming a listed company with thousands of Batswana as shareholders. You are truly the proverbial butterfly. I therefore urge you to go out and beautify the telecommunications sector with your colours, these being your products and services,” he said.
“To the BSE, for the first time in your history, you will have a listed entity that is owned by a very diverse constituency here in Botswana; Batswana. We look forward to seeing more Batswana take this step into the world of stocks and shareholding,” Ramaphane said.
BTCL Managing Director, Paul Taylor said; “This is an incredible and truly historic time for Botswana and a truly humbling moment for all of us at BTCL. We now welcome thousands of citizen shareholders, more versed in what buying shares means, and keen to see BTCL thrive and reward them for their trust in us. We are, in every way, dedicated towards driving this business further to success and delivering on our promise to add value to our shareholders, our team, our community and our Nation. BTCL ke ya rona rotlhe!”
Taylor said they faced many and varied challenges in completing the listing. “The challenges we had in getting here were many and varied. But with each challenge, the whole IPO team stood shoulder to shoulder and developed solutions that have ultimately resulted in us reaching this historic moment,” he said.
For his part, Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Nonofo Molefhi, standing in for Tshenolo Mabeo, Minister of Transport and Communications, said “the government of Botswana has always envisaged seeing more Batswana partake in a pinnacle moment in the history of BTCL and the local economy, and today we see that this has become a reality. Our mandate was clear and we were steadfast in delivering upon it: to ensure maximum citizen participation.”
Molefhi, who is also former Minister of Communications, pointed out that Batswana proved that they have the power to make the dreams of alternative investment platforms a reality and to change lives in this way.