Finsbury set to promote Belgacom’s share offer

Belgacom, Belgium’s leading fixed-line telephone operator, is using Finsbury for financial communications on what will be Europe’s largest initial public offering for three years.

Finsbury co-founder Rupert Younger and senior partner Rollo Head are advising Belgacom chief executive Didier Bellens on the deal, which is expected to value Belgacom at between £5.3bn and £6.2bn.

Younger and Head also report to Belgacom chief communications officer Phillipe Rogge, and will continue to be the company’s retained financial adviser after the flotation.

Belgacom announced last Wednesday that it would float on Euronext in Brussels at an offer price of between 23 and 26.5 euros.

Shares will be offered to Belgacom employees at a 16.6 per cent discount.

Belgacom management started a two-week roadshow to promote the company’s shares to investors earlier this week and will return on the eve of the listing on 21 March.

The financial communications campaign will promote Belgacom as Belgium’s main fixed line operator with a profitable mobile phone business and control of the Belgian broadband market.

Belgacom’s mobile phone business, Proximus, has around 60 per cent of the Belgian mobile market, while broadband penetration in the Flanders region is the highest level of access in Europe, at 31 per cent.

The Belgian government, which will retain nearly 50 per cent plus one share of Belgacom after the flotation, cleared the way for the IPO last October by pledging to assume the company’s liabilities for the staff pensions.

Belgacom’s minority shareholder is the ADSB consortium, including Singapore Telecom, SBC of the US and Tele Danmark.

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