25 Mar 2008
Vodafone Group is making arrangements to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of around 20% of its shareholding in Qatar’s second national mobile licence holder by the end of this year, reports FT.com. The UK-based group owns 51% of the start-up venture that won its concession in December 2007, with the remainder held by the Qatar Foundation, a non-profit-making body founded by the country’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. ‘We expect operations to be up and running by the end of the year and an IPO would be factored into this time scale,’ said a Vodafone spokesperson, without giving any financial details. Although the IPO would dilute Vodafone’s holding in the business to a minority stake, the company is likely to remain the largest shareholder and said the possibility remained open to retake majority control in the future. According to Dow Jones, HSBC is likely to be hired to arrange the IPO.