Oger Telecom says region too volatile to pursue IPO

Oger Telecom said last week that its proposed public listing has been postponed rather than cancelled

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By  Published  December 3, 2006

Oger Telecom said last week that its proposed public listing has been postponed rather than cancelled. The telco, which is controlled by Lebanon’s Hariri family, had called off its initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange and Dubai’s International Financial Exchange (DIFX) a few hours before a scheduled press conference on the deal, citing “volatile regional market conditions”.

While Oger Telecom CEO Paul Doany last week told Reuters that the deal has only been postponed, an advisory and consulting firm told IT Weekly that a re-listing was highly unlikely to happen within the next 12 months.

Rogier van Driessche, partner of Dubai-based Delta Partners, said there could be a number of reasons why the company had cancelled the listing.

“This can mean so many different things. There might be political implications, there might be reasons behind it that we don’t know, that they are exploring other options on a strategic level, potential mergers or other alliances that might be preferable to coming to the public market.

“I think it is a combination of things, the market is obviously thin, there is another very big deal going on at the same time, there is a range of potential factors,” he added. The announcement was made on November 21, just three hours before the company was due to announce its IPO date to the London Stock Exchange.

“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,” the company said.

The telecommunications firm, which last year acquired majority control of Turk Telekom, was undertaking the listing in order to fund expansion plans.

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