Oger Telecom scraps $1.25bn IPO

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Oger Telecom, a Dubai-based company controlled by Lebanon’s Hariri family, said on Tuesday that it was pulling its $1.25bn flotation on the Dubai and London stock exchanges because of weak market conditions.

The group had planned to launch the flotation on Tuesday, but it is understood that the existing investors were unhappy with the pricing of the shares.

Oger Telecom planned to list on the Dubai International Exchange and sell global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange, to raise funds for the group’s expansion.

The company owns telecoms networks in Turkey, South Africa and Lebanon, and has an acquisitive strategy. At the end of last year Oger bought a 55 per cent stake in Turk Telekom, Turkey’s former state telecoms monopoly, for $6.5bn.

Oger was to sell $150m of new shares and $1.1bn of existing shareholders’ stock, although these investors were planning to remain shareholders in the company.

Oger Telecom is part of the Saudi Oger conglomerate founded by assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon Rafiq Hariri, and will now remain privately-owned.

As well as the Hariri family, significant shareholders in Oger Telecom include Telecom Italia, Arab Bank and Bank of Sharjah.

ABN Amro and Citigroup had been the joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the offering.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, Oger Telecom said: “The objectives of the offering had included achieving a broad shareholder base and a successful aftermarket. Despite over-subscription throughout the price range, with good support from investors in the Middle East, in the light of increasingly challenging and volatile regional market conditions, the company and principal selling shareholders deemed that it was no longer advisable to proceed.”

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