IPO could value Telenet at €2.5bn

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Shareholders in Telenet on Tuesday agreed on plans for an initial public offering that could value the Belgian cable operator at about €2.5bn ($3bn).

Telenet wants to use the float to raise funds for expansion and to pay off debts, with the sale of new and existing shares potentially raising about €1bn.

It is expected to price the IPO this month, with a listing likely to take place on Euronext in Brussels by mid-October.

Set up in 1996 and based in Mechelen, northern Belgium, Telenet is a rival to Belgacom, the country’s dominant telecoms group. It offers internet, TV and telephone services, with most of its customers in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. An alliance of Belgian local authorities jointly owns 34 per cent of Telenet, the largest holding in the company.

Among its other big shareholders is Liberty Global, the group controlled by US media mogul John Malone, which owns 21 per cent.

GIMV, a Belgian venture capital holding company, has almost 15 per cent,
while Electrabel, the power group, owns nearly 5 per cent.

Last year Telenet had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €299.6m.

This month Telenet began offering digital interactive TV operations, called iDTV, following the launch of a similar service by Belgacom.

KBC, JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch are bookrunners and underwriters.

The company has appointed Goldman Sachs as sole adviser.

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