THE OWNER of the Orange and T-Mobile phone networks is planning an end-of-year initial public offering that could be London’s biggest stock market listing in over two years.
EE, formerly known as Everything Everywhere, is being prepared for a listing that would raise billions for its owners, France Telecom (FT) and Deutsche Telekom (DT).
Everything Everywhere was formed in 2010 when Orange and T-Mobile merged, creating the UK’s biggest mobile company. It has since launched Britain’s first high speed 4G mobile network under the EE name and boasts 27m customers.
FT and DT, which each own half of EE, will retain majority control. However, floating a quarter of the firm could raise as much as £2.5bn, giving the firms a cash injection. An IPO would be London’s biggest since commodities giant Glencore raised £6bn in 2011, and would breathe life into a dormant IPO market.
EE’s owners have been hit by weaknesses in Europe, and slashed their dividends last year. DT has focused on investment in the US and Germany while France’s mobile market has seen prices cut in order to compete.
A DT spokesperson said: “DT and FT have decided to conduct a strategic review on the asset and consider different options with an IPO as the preferred option.” An FT spokesperson did not comment, although the French firm has appeared open to floating EE.