UK market-leader EE is set for a stock market flotation by year-end that will value it at £10 billion, the Sunday Times reports.
The joint venture between France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom is thought to be close to appointing advisors on a sale with Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Barclays expected to feature.
Although they would not comment on specific speculation, the two European telcos said that an IPO was the “preferred option” but remained subject to a “strategic review in the course of 2013.”
According to the report, the two owners will look to sell about 25 percent of the business, netting them about £1.25 billion each. Such a move would see them retain a combined 75 percent majority shareholding.
While a London IPO appears the most likely option, an outright sale of the stake is seen as a possibility. Private-equity firms such as Apax, KKR and CVC are said to be mulling bids.
EE – or Everything Everywhere as it was previously known – became the UK’s largest operator three years ago following the merger between France Telecom’s Orange UK and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile UK. It boasts 27 million customers and is also the UK’s first – and to date, only – 4G operator.