July 3, 2017 / 8:13 AM / 3 months ago

Mobile phone operator Play seeks $1.4 billion in Warsaw IPO

WARSAW (Reuters) - Play Communications, the owner of Poland’s second biggest mobile network operator Play, plans to raise up to 5.2 billion zlotys ($1.40 billion) in an initial public offering (IPO) in Warsaw, it said on Monday.

The flotation would be the biggest in Warsaw since 2011, according to Warsaw Stock Exchange data.

The mobile operator, owned by Greek fund Tollerton and Icelandic investor Novator, will sell up to 121,572,621 existing shares, or 48.6 percent of its total equity, including the over-allotment option. The company will not issue new shares.

Play said that a maximum price has been set at 44 zlotys per share for retail and institutional investors, but authorized employees will be entitled to buy the shares for up to 37.4 zlotys.

Play said its implied market capitalization based on the maximum price would be around 11.2 billion zlotys, with analysts betting it would make it to the WIG20 index, comprising the 20 biggest and most liquid companies listed in Warsaw.

Play, mainly competes against the Polish mobile network operating arms of Deutsche Telekom and France’s Orange .

The company has hired J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch and UBS Investment Bank as global coordinators, as well as Bank Zachodni WBK and DM PKO BP as co-offering and book building co-managers.

Institutional bookbuilding starts on Monday and is expected to close on July 13 when the final pricing will be announced. Play expects to debut on the Warsaw exchange on July 27.

Part of the IPO proceeds will be used to redeem 500 million euros bonds due in 2022 issued by Play’s parent company. It also plans to pay a dividend of 650 million zlotys next year.

“With the IPO we have a very good platform to raise financing in future if necessary,” Play Chief Executive Jorgen Bang-Jensen told a news conference.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Marcin Goettig, editing by Louise Heavens

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