Liquid Telecom to float in Europe next year – report

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

London-based Liquid Telecom, which operates an 18,000km fibre broadband network in 15 African countries, has seen consistent growth in recent years as demand for internet capacity continues to soar in the continent.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Econet Group founder Strive Masiyiwa said the company had turned down “several multi-billion offers” and would consequently look at a listing next year.

Masiyiwa wants Liquid Telecom “to remain an independent access provider for internet in Africa”.

“We are going to raise more capital in market and strengthen its market leadership in this vital space.”

As part of the company’s expansion, Masiyiwa said Liquid Telecom is now targeting expansion into west Africa, with the aim to build an additional 20,000km in the next three years. Liquid Telecom raised $150 million in February this year to further boost its fibre capabilities.

“The level of system reliability required to offer service to the likes of Netflix is very high, and we are the only ones in a position to do that end to end across Africa,” he said. “It will however require much more investment, and that is why we are now looking at a return to the capital markets.”

The company has not yet made a decision on which European stock exchange to list on, but Masiyiwa said advisers had been appointed.

Liquid Telecom provides internet capacity to some of Africa’s largest operators, including Airtel, Orange and Vodafone, and signed an agreement with MTN last month to beef up presence in both companies’ respective footprint
Source: Mobile World Live 28 September 2015 /