Liquid Telecom owner Econet looks at $1bn London share flotation

Liquid Telecom owner Econet looks at $1bn London share flotation

Sources close to Econet confirm that the company is considering floating its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Reports this morning say that the company, which owns a mobile operator in Zimbabwe as well as southern African fibre carrier Liquid Telecom, would be valued at $8 billion if the initial public offering (IPO) went ahead.

Capacity contacted the group’s London office and was referred to a financial PR company, Tavistock, which had no comment to make on the report.

Econet was founded by Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa, who is now based in London. The company has expanded from its base in Zimbabwe, where it is now the only mobile operator not owned by the state, into wholesale and enterprise telecoms across southern Africa through Liquid Telecom. Last year it agreed to buy South Africa’s Neotel from Tata Communications for $429 million.

The reports appear to have originated in a briefing to the Bloomberg news service, which said that Econet is looking at a number of acquisition in the African mobile market.

Capacity’s sources confirm the accuracy of the reports, which were attributed to “people familiar with the matter”.

The reports, which emphasize that no final decision has been made, say that the idea is for an IPO of $1 billion worth of shares, valuing the company at $8 billion. Funds would be used for acquisitions.

The Bloomberg report mentioned Millicom’s African businesses in Chad, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania, but Swedish-owned Millicom is not commenting.

Gift this article