Wednesday 28 September 2016

Inside Digicel's pulled IPO: exclusive interview with the CEO

Published 11/10/2015 | 02:30

The decision to postpone Digicel's IPO last week amid stock market volatility means that
Denis O'Brien will need to consider his next move carefully
The decision to postpone Digicel's IPO last week amid stock market volatility means that Denis O'Brien will need to consider his next move carefully

Digicel planned to float on US stock markets nearly a decade ago but decided not to go through with the IPO, its chief executive Colm Delves tells the Sunday Independent in an exclusive interview today.

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The communications company controlled by Denis O'Brien postponed a scheduled IPO last week due to stock market volatility. Mr Delves insisted that the telecoms company can still pursue its growth strategy despite cancelling its stock market flotation plans.

He also revealed that Digicel had previously initiated a flotation process nearly a decade ago in New York and didn't proceed then either, instead securing finance via the high-yield bond market.

But that was only after Digicel had filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission with a view to selling shares on the stock market. US market rules at the time meant that documentation didn't have to be publicly disclosed, Mr Delves said.

The telecoms boss confirmed that the company might consider a flotation again next year, if markets settle down.

"The door isn't closed in any shape or form," said Mr Delves. "Whether it's a year, whether it's two years, or whether we just continue as is and keep driving the business as we did for the last 15 years - that's also another option for us.

"A lot of the groundwork has been done over the past six months and that will stand to us if we decide to go again."

He said the company is to spend $550m on investment in the current year, adding: "That's already funded and there is no issue with that."

Sunday Indo Business

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