Play light on detail as it confirms IPO plan - Mobile World Live

Play light on detail as it confirms IPO plan

19 JUN 2017

Polish operator Play announced intentions to launch an IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, with CEO Jorgen Bang-Jensen stating the company “can offer investors an unrivalled combination of growth and returns in our sector”.

In a statement, Play confirmed a report by Rzeczpospolita from earlier in June which said the operator was planning a listing. The move to IPO comes less than a year after it abandoned attempts to sell the company in an auction.

The report said the company hoped to raise at least PLN2.5 billion ($670 million) and would launch the IPO in the second half of July.

Play did not confirm how much it hopes to raise or exactly when, but said it plans to pay PLN650 million in dividends in the second quarter of 2018.

It will make the offering to retail investors, authorised employees and institutional investors, and adhere to international regulations.

Unique
Play is currently the second largest operator in Poland, with more than 14.3 million subscribers as of 31 March 2017.

Jensen described the operator as “unique” in the European telecoms sector, given its fast growth. The company said it had grown its 4.6 per cent market share in 2008 to approximately 27.6 per cent in 2017.

“Our revenue growth and profitability outstrips our listed peers, as a result of our focused strategy and our status as Poland’s favourite brand,” he said.

“We have created a business model that enabled a challenger operator to take a market leading position within a few years, while generating free cash flow in line with the best in the industry.”

The charm offensive continued in Play’s statement, where it noted Poland was “one of the most attractive mobile communications markets in Europe with stable competitive dynamics”.

In October 2016, an auction to sell Play was abandoned after bids made by private equity firms did not meet expectations.

Play is wholly owned by Tollerton Investments and Telco Holdings, which hold stakes of 50.3 per cent and 49.7 per cent respectively.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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