Economy

Digicel, Caribbean’s Biggest Mobile Provider, Launches Big U.S. IPO – MoneyBeat – WSJ


Though not a household name in the U.S., Digicel is the biggest mobile and cable provider in many countries in the Caribbean and South Pacific, generating $2.8 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year.After Patrick Drahi’s Altice NV acquired Cablevision Systems Corp., it’s hoped this IPO will next up in a string of highly competitive telecoms deals with service in the Caribbean. Digicel is primarily a mobile provider, but is also getting into the “triple play” model with cable and internet service.It is owned by Irish telecom billionaire Denis O’Brien, who will still control over 90% of the voting rights in the company post-IPO, according to the prospectus. Mr. O’Brien isn’t cashing out, though his economic stake would be worth more than $3 billion at the top of the IPO price range.Over $1 billion of the cash raised by the sale of 124 million shares will go toward repaying the company’s pretty big debt load, which at $6.5 billion is more than five times annual Ebitda. Digicel isn’t profitable, losing $158 million last year. The company is pitching the stock at $13 to $16 per share.In a relatively slow year for IPOs, the deal will be a big one for its lead underwriters, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. UBS also has Ferrari lined up, and Citigroup is about to hit the road as lead bank on First Data Corp.’s IPO, set to be the year’s biggest at $3 billion. J.P. Morgan is on file to lead medical-tech maker Acelity Holdings Inc., a possible billion-dollar-plus deal itself. Source: – MoneyBeat – WSJ

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