MTN’s Phuthuma Nhleko ditches his shares as he prepares to leave
MTN Group’s executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko sold shares worth about R123m as he prepares to hand over the day-to-day running of Africa’s biggest wireless company to incoming CEO Rob Shuter.
Nhleko will also benefit from the termination of share options valued at R130m, he said after the market closed on Wednesday. He will return to his previous role as nonexecutive chairman when Shuter joins from Vodafone Group on March 17.
MTN said in November 2015 Nhleko would retake the helm after CEO Sifiso Dabengwa resigned in the wake of a record $5.2bn fine in Nigeria.
The chairman led negotiations with the country’s authorities, eventually agreeing to pay about $1bn, and hired Shuter as his successor. As CEO for almost nine years until 2011, he transformed MTN from a small South African wireless carrier into a telecommunications conglomerate with customers in 22 countries.
The chairman sold about 1.08-million shares at R113.86 each. He had just more than 2-million shares at the end of 2015, according to MTN’s annual report.
MTN’s share price declined 0.6% to R113.20 by the JSR’s close, extending the year’s decline to 15%. That values the company at R217bn.