Wataniya Palestine launches $50m IPO
Ramallah, West Bank, November 7, 2010
Mobile telephone operator Wataniya Palestine launched an initial public offering (IPO) on Sunday to raise $50 million for financing an expansion of its network, the firm's chief executive said.
The company, part owned by Qatar Telecommunications Company, is offering 38.7 million shares at $1.3 per share, equivalent to 15 per cent of its shares. Subscription closes on December 2.
'The IPO constitutes a huge and important step in the history of the company which reflects its commitments towards subscribers,' CEO Bassam Hannoun said in a statement.
Last week, Wataniya said revenue rose to $11.3 million in the third quarter from $9.1 million in the second quarter and $4 million in the first quarter, when it began recording revenue.
The firm began functioning as the second mobile operator in the Palestinian Territories a year ago after entering the market as a competitor to Jawwal, owned by The Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel).
The 38.7 million shares to be floated will be traded on the Nablus-based Palestine Exchange within 30 days after the IPO closes on December 2.
Wataniya will join 40 companies listed on the bourse, which have a combined market capitalisation of around $2.5 billion.
Another 15 per cent tranche will be offered to the public within four years, sources familiar with the matter said.
Wataniya Palestine is 53 per cent owned by Qatar Telecommunications and 47 per cent by the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), which is owned by the Palestinian Authority. Those stakes are set to drop to 40 per cent and 30 per cent respectively after 30 per cent is sold to the public.
HSBC Middle East will be global coordinator and bookrunner for the IPO, while the Arab Bank Group will be the regional coordinator and underwriter.-Reuters