Spanish cablenet ONO has announced plans to list on the stock exchange within the year. In a meeting with the local media CEO Rosalia Portela said the company would also look to a bond issue to further ease its debt burden.
Already finding favour with its triple play packages, ONO now plans to seek a licence to run mobile telephony services. ONO believes the lack of a mobile telephony offer puts it at a disadvantage against the telco Telefónica. However, the plan rests on the allocation of new radio spectrum.
Portela estimated that the flotation would net the operator between €700 million and €1,000 million.
Last week ONO successfully staged a €3.5 billion refinancing, which postponed a significant part of its debt until 2012, and including a €200 million refinancing package from existing shareholders.
Portela said that while some shareholders, including Caja Espana and Banco Santander, might choose the IPO to sell some of their holding, she anticipated the majority would remain.
Only a year ago ONO faced administration, before the new management team led by Portela began to turn the operator around. Portela blamed the ONO’s problems on the 2005 merger with Auna that left the company with a huge debt that was then compounded by an overly ambitious business plan.
ONO is currently in the process of expanding its broadband network. DOCSIS 3 technology will enable the operator to offer speeds of 50 Mbps across its network by the summer.