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Tue May 24 23:36:31 SAST 2016

Nigeria grants extension to MTN over $3.9 billion fine

TMG Digital | 22 January, 2016 14:34
MTN is challenging the fine in court‚ as it believes the size of the fine and the way it was imposed were not in accordance with the commission’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act‚ Business Day reports. File photo
Image by: ROGAN WARD / REUTERS

The Federal High Court in Lagos‚ Nigeria‚ on Friday adjourned the case over the $3.9 billion that MTN Nigeria has been fined by that country’s regulator to 18 March 2016.

In a statement‚ MTN said this was “in order to enable the parties to try and settle the matter”.

“If the parties are unable to reach a settlement the matter will then proceed on that date‚" the company said.

“Shareholders are therefore advised to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities until a further announcement is made.”

MTN is challenging the fine in court‚ as it believes the size of the fine and the way it was imposed were not in accordance with the commission’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act‚ Business Day reports.

The penalty is substantially larger than the company’s annual profits. MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman was quoted in Nigeria’s The Leadership publication on Monday as saying that the fine could bankrupt the company as it represented 95% of its annual turnover.

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