Helios plans IPO seeking $2bn plus value

Johannesburg - Helios Towers, one of the largest sub-Saharan telecommunications tower operators, plans an initial public offering in early April to allow shareholders such as Soros Fund Management to reduce their stakes.

Helios Towers plans to list its shares in Johannesburg and London, the company said in a statement on Friday. The company said it expects at least 25% of its shares will be freely traded after the sale, and it’s not selling any new stock.

Bloomberg in November reported that Helios was seeking a valuation of at least $2bn. The company is now looking to be valued at about $2.8bn including debt, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the considerations are private.

Africa’s phone-mast industry is booming as rising wireless device use leads to a leapfrogging of traditional land-line connections. Mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa are set to surge 41% to 990 million in five years, according to Ericsson.

Two of Africa’s other tower operators, Eaton Towers and IHS Towers, are also seeking initial public offerings in 2018, people familiar with the matter said in November.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] are joint coordinators and bookrunners for the sale, while Jefferies International is also a bookrunner.

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