France Telecom hints at EE listing in 2013 - Mobile World Live

France Telecom hints at EE listing in 2013

16 NOV 2012

France Telecom has hinted that a floatation of its UK joint venture EE could be on the cards for next year, reports the Financial Times.

Gervais Pellissier, deputy chief executive of France Telecom, told a conference this week that there "could be some space at the end of next year" for an IPO, but said that France Telecom and EE’s other shareholder Deutsche Telekom would remain as majority shareholders.

“There is a possibility that we can give ourselves some financial headroom by opening EE’s capital to a minority shareholder or through an IPO, but we haven’t yet decided,” France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard told Bloomberg in an interview.

EE – or Everything Everywehere – is the UK’s largest mobile operator formed following the merger between France Telecom’s Orange UK and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile UK two years ago. It switched on the country’s first 4G networks last month.

According to the Financial Times, EE has an enterprise value of more than £10 billion and is thought to have already attracted interest from private-equity firms.

Pellissier told Bloomberg: “We are not like Telefonica that needed to do the O2 IPO because it needed cash. O2 Germany had proved already a track record for several years, which is not the case yet at EE. We don’t need cash right now, we need to prove that this is a nice asset.”