Econet Wireless eyes UK listing with USD 8 bln value - report
1 December 2017
Econet Wireless is considering selling shares on the London Stock Exchange at a valuation of about USD 8 billion 2018 after combining new and existing assets, reports Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter. The report says the valuation would be based on an enlarged company, partly forged through the acquisition of additional African phone businesses, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the details are private. At the moment, Econet considers it premature to discuss further, but will provide further clarity should the listing proceed. The people also said Econet plans to sell about USD 1 billion in new shares in an initial public offering in London and may consider a secondary listing in Johannesburg.
The plans have not been finalised and the final valuation may change depending on market conditions. The sources also said Econet is in discussions with Millicom International to buy some African assets from the Luxembourg-based carrier, although no final decision has been made. Millicom is scaling back in Africa to focus on Latin America. Its holdings in Tanzania, Chad, Ghana and Rwanda serve some 25 million users, which would complement Econet’s operations in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Econet Wireless, which is seeking to attract international investors, is expected to use the new funds for acquisitions, but no final decision has been made, the people said. Econet declined to comment on the specifics of its plans, saying Masiyiwa has built substantial interests outside Zimbabwe in telecoms, media and financial services in the eighteen years since he left the country. Millicom spokesman Malcolm Fitzwilliams declined to comment, adding that its priority is to profitably and responsibly accelerate organic sales growth.