ONO Ready for IPO as Soon as Spanish Market Improves, CEO Says
Grupo Corporativo ONO SA, a Spanish broadband provider, is prepared to sell shares in an initial public offering when the market for investors recovers, its chief executive officer said.
“We are ready to do an IPO, but the perception of the Spanish market must improve to allow it,” CEO Rosalia Portela said in an interview at a cable congress in London today.
The number of IPOs in Europe has declined as the sovereign- debt crisis hurt economies. Still, Telefonica SA (TEF), Spain’s biggest telephone company, in October sold almost a quarter of its German unit Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG in Europe’s biggest initial public offering in 2012.
In November, Portela said the company was “still open” to an IPO in 2014 if Spain’s economy recovers. The Madrid-based company is fully financed until 2017 after concluding its refinancing in May, she said today.
ONO’s 1 billion euros of 8.875 percent bonds due 2018 traded at 105.4 percent of the face value, close to its record high of 105.7 percent on Feb. 25, and up from 104.7 percent yesterday, according to Bloomberg data.
ONO offers landline, mobile, television and Internet services to residential customers, and has almost 4.4 million services contracted in this segment. In the past few years, the company gained users from more expensive rivals including Telefonica as consumption plunged in the Spanish economy.
Last year, Telefonica introduced Movistar Fusion, a bundle of voice, broadband and pay TV starting at 50 euros ($65.09) a month, in an attempt to retain customers and turn around its declining Spanish business. At the end of January, Telefonica’s Fusion offerings reached 1.5 million customers, Luis Miguel Gilperez, head of Spanish operations, said last month.
The effect of Fusion on ONO’s operations has been “minimal,” Portela said. The company is well-positioned to benefit from the trend to bundled services, she said.
Portela declined to say whether ONO had received any interest from potential buyers, after analysts at Jefferies and Espirito Santo suggested last month that ONO was a potential acquisition target for Vodafone Group Plc. (VOD)