Tuesday 19, June 2018 by Jessica Combes

African telecom firm Eaton Towers said to postpone IPO

 

The firm was initially planning to announce the sale this month but may now wait until next year

African telecommunications company Eaton Towers Ltd. has decided to postpone an initial public offering on concern that conditions are hurting valuations, according to people familiar with the matter.

Eaton Towers, partly owned by Ethos Private Equity Pty Ltd., was seeking a valuation of about $2 billion in a sale in London and Johannesburg, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. The firm was initially planning to announce the sale this month but may now wait until next year, they said.

Eaton Towers is the second African operator of mobile-phone towers to halt planning for a share sale this year. Companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa selling stock for the first time, especially from emerging markets, have struggled as investors turned selective amid political uncertainty and volatile stock prices.

A representative for Eaton Towers said the company couldn’t immediately comment.

In March, Helios Towers Plc, one of the largest sub-Saharan tower operators, cancelled its plans for a listing this year. A third IPO hopeful, IHS Towers, could still go ahead with plans to list in New York. IHS, partly owned by MTN Group Ltd., had sought a valuation of around $10 billion, people familiar said last year. After testing the market, the valuation is closer to $8 billion, one person said on Monday. IHS declined to comment.

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