Thursday 12 September 2019 12:30 pm

African telecoms firm Helios plans second attempt at London listing

African mobile network operator Helios Towers has announced plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in London, after ditching a planned listing last year that had been expected to value the company at £2bn.

The operator said it plans to raise $125m (£101m) via the issue of new shares, and that existing shareholders including Albright Capital Management, Millicom, and Bharti Airtel would sell some of their shares.

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Helios said it is planning a free float of at least 25 per cent of the company, and said it expects that the listed firm “would be eligible for inclusion in FTSE UK indices”. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand its services, including potential expansions into other countries.

The telecoms firm operates phone masts across five Sub-Saharan African countries: Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Ghana, and South Africa.

It dropped previous plans for a London listing in March last year, amid concerns about political risk in DRC and Tanzania, one banker told Reuters at the time.

“Telecommunications infrastructure lies at the heart of development in Africa, and Helios
Towers brings significant expertise operating in these rapidly developing markets,” said chair Sir Samuel Jonah.

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“The group is well placed to capitalise on infrastructure opportunities in some of the fastest growing markets in the world,to the benefit of shareholders and local communities alike.”

Main image credit: Getty