African mobile networks operator Helios Towers’ made a successful market debut on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Tuesday.
The UK-based company raised $364 million after shares rose 5.7% on the first day after hitting the trade floor.
The share price was 115 pence each, giving it an equity value of GBP1.15 billion – one of the biggest of the year in London, just behind Airtel Africa PLC, Network International Holdings PLC, Trainline PLC, and Finablr PLC.
The company, which operates 6,800 towers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania, shelved plans for its IPO last year amid concerns about political risks in DRC and Tanzania.
The International Development Minister for Africa, Andrew Stephenson said the IPO gives investors the chance to gain a foothold in Africa’s booming telecoms sector.
“This transaction highlights the significant potential that exists to invest in Africa’s growth story. And it demonstrates what can be achieved when we connect African companies with international capital.
“I am delighted that today Helios Towers has now embarked on the next stage of its growth story, by listing on the London Stock Exchange.
“That is why the Department for International Development will continue to work with the private sector to boost infrastructure investment across Africa. Our ambition is to catalyse more of the £8 trillion of assets under management in the City of London into investments in emerging and frontier markets.
The company operates 6,800 towers across five African countries – Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa.
The latest listing comes after a year of delays. The company shelved plans for its London listing in March 2018 after investors were rattled by ongoing turmoil in DRC.
Helios Towers CEO Kash Pandya told Bloomberg after the IPO that the funds raised would be used to expand into three more African markets.