IHS Holding Limited has lost 60 per cent of its market value since its 2021 New York initial public offering, forcing some investors to seek for a change in the firm’s affairs.
This is according to a recent report by Bloomberg. It stated that this is a particular concern because tower companies in Africa are struggling to cope with large demands for investment in their networks to cope with surging broadband and smartphone use.
Also, the Bloomberg report stated that IHS Holding Ltd.’s recent annual meeting devolved into a standoff over investor power after the firm dismissed demands from two of its largest stakeholders.
The stakeholders, Wendel SE and MTN Group Limited, which together own about 45 per cent of the company, argued that shareholders with at least a 10 per cent stake should have the power to nominate board members.
According to the people Bloomberg spoke to, who asked not to be identified because the matter is not public, IHS’s board dismissed the proposals.
IHS later said, in a statement, “The proposals requested to be put forward were not in the best interests of the company as a whole or our collective shareholder base.”
It added, “The proposal was designed to benefit certain large shareholders to the detriment of other shareholders.”
According to the report, the two shareholders said IHS management failed to give notice of their proposed resolutions in a timely fashion and demanded that the general meeting be reconvened to consider them.
The report read in parts, “MTN also sought to convert its non-voting shares into voting ones, and that motion was denied, the people said. Currently, MTN, which is Africa’s biggest mobile operator, owns a 26 per cent economic stake and controls 20 per cent of the voting rights, they said.”
IHS added, “Under our shareholders’ agreement, Wendel has the right to designate one director for nomination by the board from time to time so long as Wendel holds at least 10 per cent of the shares.
“MTN does not have a similar right, which was agreed as part of the IPO to preserve IHS Towers’ independence from a significant customer.”