Orange plans to put all its MENA activities into a separate entity/Bloomberg
France’s Orange has appointed BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley to advise on a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of its the Middle East and Africa business, reported Bloomberg.
The banks are helping with preparations for the listing, though an underwriting syndicate has not yet been formalised and Orange plans to invite more banks to join the deal at a later stage.
Orange is considering London Stock Exchange and Euronext Paris as potential venues for the share sale, which could take place as soon as the first half of this year.
The company will follow Bharti Airtel Africa unit and Helios Towers in seeking to tap a wider investor base and raise capital for expansion. Any transaction will add to the $26.5 billion of IPOs in Europe over the past 12 months.
Orange stated that it will put all its Middle East and Africa activities into a separate entity to provide ‘various options for growth.’ An IPO is one potential scenario and the ultimate decision will depend on factors including which option will best accelerate the company’s growth, said Orange.
The company’s MENA business posted EUR 1.67 billion ($1.8 billion) of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in 2018, accounting for around 13 per cent of the group’s adjusted Ebitda.
Sales from the MENA region rose 5.1 per cent that year to EUR 5.2 billion. Orange has a presence in about 20 countries across Africa and the Middle East.