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Sunday 25 September 2016

O'Brien's Digicel float will be the biggest Irish IPO ever

Published 28/06/2015 | 02:30

Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien

Billionaire Denis O'Brien is changing the focus of his Digicel mobile operator as it prepares to float in New York in what could be the most valuable IPO of an Irish-linked company ever. Some industry estimates have suggested that the company could have an enterprise value of around $13bn, including its $6.5bn in debt.

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While Digicel has yet to finalise the amount it wishes to raise on the markets, it is likely to become the most valuable Irish company ever floated. Eircom was previously the largest IPO when it was sold for over €6bn in 1999.

O'Brien's Digicel is "evolving" from being a pure mobile telecoms firm into "a leading total communications and entertainment provider" as it moves into cable television, broadband and business services while continuing to grow its mobile offering. The company plans to grow its revenues by generating more money from existing customers though utilising its brand to sell more valued added services. Digicel has spent over $1.5bn in the last three years building up its network and aims to use some of the proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt.

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