| 5°C Dublin

Denis O'Brien's Digicel to list on stock market


Denis O'Brien

Denis O'Brien

Click to view full size graphic

Click to view full size graphic


Denis O'Brien

Businessman Denis O'Brien is to float his international telecoms firm on the New York Stock Exchange.

Digicel, which has close to 14 million customers across the Caribbean and South Pacific, is expected to begin selling shares on the public market later this year.

By filing the paperwork for the IPO (Initial Public Offering), Digicel has set the scene for one of the most anticipated flotations by an Irish-led company for years.

In a filing with US authorities, the company said it would use the proceeds from the sale for "general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures and acquisitions, and to repay existing indebtedness". However, the company will not use the IPO to pay a dividend.

Digicel launched its first mobile network in Jamaica in 2001. The company now operates in 31 countries. It has 10.8 million subscribers in the Caribbean, and another 2.8 million in the South Pacific.

The filing also shows that Digicel is entering the broadband and cable television sectors. The so-called "triple play" of phone, broadband and television has become especially lucrative for telecoms companies.

In the financial year to the end of March 2015, Digicel made a loss of $157.6m (€141m) on revenue of $2.8bn.

Digicel has traditionally funded itself by selling bonds, but market watchers had long expected the company to eventually go public.

Papers filed in the US make it clear that Denis O'Brien will remain in control of the business, even after the share sale.

Full story: See Business

Irish Independent