Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

IHS Towers has postponed an initial public offering (IPO) that would have valued the company at as much as $10bn, because of concern that a sale may take place too close to an election in its home market of Nigeria, according to people familiar with the matter.

Africa’s largest tower company, whose shareholders include Goldman Sachs Group, Wendel SA and MTN Group, was seeking to raise about $1bn in New York, said the people, asking not to be identified as the details are not public. The share sale may now be postponed until 2019, they said.

A representative of IHS Towers declined to comment.

IHS Towers joins Helios Towers and Eaton Towers in deferring plans for a listing in 2018. All three had been seeking to cash in on the booming African phone-mast industry, boosted by rising wireless device use.

The listing of Lagos-based IHS will be deferred until at least after Nigerian presidential elections scheduled for February, the sources said.