African online retailer Jumia is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in New York in 2019 that could value the business at about $1.5bn, according to people familiar with the matter. Jumia’s largest shareholder, MTN Group, is planning to raise as much as $600m from selling its shares through the IPO, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is not public. MTN and Jumia declined to comment. MTN has been weighing a listing or private sale of its shares in Jumia, people familiar with the matter said in August 2018. A US IPO would catapult Nigeria-based Jumia into the global spotlight after seven years of rapid growth across Africa, where it provides an Amazon.com-like service and has platforms in 13 countries. Jumia is a rare so-called unicorn in Africa — a recently launched private company valued at more than $1bn — being one of only three, research firm CB Insights says. The company was set up by French entrepreneurs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy H...

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