Spain’s Telefonica is said to be gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) of its British mobile unit O2 UK, following the European Commission’s (EC’s) decision to block the sale of the cellco to Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison back in May 2016.
According to both Bloomberg and The Telegraph, the Spanish telecoms giant has ‘begun the preparatory work’ for a listing of O2 UK, though it is still reported to be considering other options for the mobile network operator. It is understood that Telefonica – which has held off plans to float the UK business in the wake of the result of the British referendum to leave the EU – will keep a majority share in the mobile network should it follow through with the IPO.
Separately, Telefonica has also revealed that it plans to float a minority stake of at least 25% of its infrastructure unit, Telxius. It has been suggested that this IPO could happen before the end of 2016, once regulatory approval is forthcoming.