Telefonica Announces The Terms Of IPO For Its German Unit

Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF) (MCE:TEF) announced Tuesday that it would raise around 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) through the initial public offering of its German business.

“A total of 225 million shares will be offered to the market, and the lead banks will have the option to buy up to 33.75 million additional shares,” Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF) (MCE:TEF) said in a statement.

Telefonica Announces The Terms Of IPO For Its German Unit

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 As per the terms of the listing, Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF) (MCE:TEF) will offer up to a 23 percent stake in its O2 brand in Germany, with a price range of 5.25 euros to 6.50 euros per share. Based on the midpoint of the proposed price range, the I.P.O. would give Telefónica’s German unit a market value of around 6.6 billion euros. The company also plans to sell the shares between next Wednesday and Oct. 29, with trading set to start on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Oct. 30.

“We think that we offer attractive value for investors, and we want to become a listed company,” said Telefonica Deutschland Chief Executive, Rene Schuster, in the statement.

The Madrid based firm, has also announced a combined dividend of 500 million euros to shareholders next year, as a bait to entice investors, despite the fact that its Spanish parent company has canceled its own payout, in an effort to reduce costs.

The Spanish telecommunications giant operates in 25 countries across Europe and Latin America, and has planned to utilize the proceeds from the IPO to reduce its debt, which currently amounts to about $75 billion. Just last week, Telefónica sold its call center, Atento, to the private equity firm Bain Capital for $1.3 billion, to raise much-needed cash. It also unloaded a minor stake in China Unicom Ltd. for €1.13 billion in June, and revealed plans to sell its online travel agency, Rumbo, as well as a small stake in Portugal Telecom SGPS SA and mobile towers.

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s placed Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF) (MCE:TEF), currently rated BBB, on credit watch negative on Friday, citing the firm’s exposure to “sovereign-related risks”.

“A successful IPO of O2 Germany would be a credit positive for Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF) (MCE:TEF), and serves to emphasize the potential for asset sales within the structure,” wrote ING analysts in a note.

The IPO bookbuilding process is set to begin tomorrow. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) are the global coordinators and joint bookrunners.