Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Digicel drops IPO plans

Published:Wednesday | October 7, 2015 | 10:00 AM
Digicel founder and chairman, Denis O'Brien.

Digicel Group has dropped its plans to list shares in an IPO that was touted to raise some US$2 billion on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The company, in a media release on Tuesday, said "current conditions", especially in emerging markets, have impacted its transaction momentum over recent days despite what it described as significant support for the IPO from "a high quality group of investors" during the marketing period.

"Given our growth outlook, an IPO for Digicel was optional and predicated on achieving fair value for the company. Recent volatility in equity markets has seen a number of IPOs listing at a discount to their signalled price range and this was a less attractive route for us," chairman, Denis O'Brien.

The Digicel founder, who has a near 100 per cent ownership of the firm, was expected to maintain 94 per cent voting control after the IPO.

The telecommunications firm, at the announcement of its plans to go for the IPO, said it expected the shares to be priced at between US$13 to US$16.

With 143 million Class A common shares on offer, the IPO should have yielded some US$2.3 billion.

Between US$1.2 billion and US$1.3 billion of the net proceeds had been earmarked for repayment of debt.

Growth plans unchanged

But O'Brien now says with a US$1.5 billion investment programme over the past three years and with no material debt maturities until 2021, the company would no longer be going public "at this time".

"Our growth plans remain unchanged and we remain in a strong position to exploit areas of interest in Data, Business Solutions, Cable TV and Broadband," O'Brien said.

Digicel said last night that it would provide no further details, other than what was contained in its press release.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com