As the deadline for Batswana to purchase Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited (BTCL) shares nears, the corporation says it expects a huge upsurge in the number of applications it anticipates will be filed this last week.
The BTCL IPO is expected to close this week, Friday March 4th. The offer comprises 462,000,000 shares of which 250,000,000 are to be issued and allotted by the company and 212,010,000 shares to be sold by the selling shareholder.
Briefing the media Friday, BTCL Managing Director Paul Taylor said in terms of readiness, they are pleased with the fact that all Barclays bank Botswana branches nationwide have been and continue to be utilised. He added that at no point have they had less than 500 people per day submitting offers at their branches.
“In our final week now we expect to see an increase and we anticipate it to get even better. In each of the branches we have IPO Champions who were purpose-trained to make this as seamless and simple for Batswana as possible. They continue to provide assistance and are geared for the final wave of applicants in the coming week,” said Taylor.
The BTCL MD stated that when the mandate of this IPO was being set, they were asked to educate Batswana widely, adding that for that they have executed a nationwide public education road show across 33 locations and 66 activations. Taylor said verage audience is about 1000 per day; Batswana who are eager to learn more about how to invest in shares and diversify their investments.
“When the bell rings on 8th April at the BSE, we look forward to a new BTCL being born, marking yet another important milestone for the business and indeed for Botswana. These are very exciting times ahead and we look forward to this bright new future,” said BTCL MD Taylor.
He is of the view that educational literature has been produced in the thousands. Taylor said over 30,000 prospectuses are in circulation and more than 320,000 BTCL share application forms have been printed. He also highlighted that they have shared over 100,000 FAQs in English and Setswana.
“Everything is going according to plan and we are pleased with the progress being made, work which has seen the input and efforts of many. Ke ya rona rotlhe needed us to all pull together so that nobody is left out. Please let us leave no one behind in this historic opportunity,” he said.
Collins Newman & Company Partner Rizwan Desai, the legal advisors of the current undergoing privatisation process of BTCL IPO on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) said all the legalities have been followed adding that Batswana will be given priority using the shares allocation policy.
“Legal action will be taken against individuals and organisations doing the fraudulent activities such as fronting and others,” said Desai.
He stated that major institutions have been engaged, including BDF, prisons, UB, police, adding that these form some of the many large institutions in Botswana. Desai said they also continue to engage with institutional investors, a process that began two weeks ago.
“To date, all of the key institutional investors have been engaged. All indications suggest that, on the whole, they seem impressed with the offer,” said Desai.