Qatar’s second mobile operator, Vodafone Qatar, plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) by November this year and will hire HSBC Middle East and QNB as joint lead advisors on the sale, says Qatar Foundation vice-president Rashid al-Naimi. As reported by CommsUpdate last week, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) announced the final price of the country’s second mobile licence won by the Vodafone/Qatar Foundation Consortium as QAR7.716 billion (USD2.12 billion). The licence, won by the UK-led group via an auction in December 2007, will be formally issued once all legal details relating to the new company’s formation are finalised. ictQATAR also confirmed that the shareholding structure of the licensee will be: Vodafone/Qatar Foundation Consortium (45%), public shareholders (40%) and government/domestic institutions (15%). An Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 40% of shares in the new operator will be held on or before 30 November 2008, which has replaced an earlier June deadline. ictQATAR will publish specific obligations for network rollout and services on its website when the concession is handed over. It is expected that Vodafone will launch commercial services in Qatar in the first quarter of 2009.