21st January 2020
O2
Business Telecoms

O2 flotation delayed over Brexit fears

Spain’s telecoms giant Telefonica has postponed its planned introduction of the UK mobile operator O2 to the London Stock Exchange until after Brexit, news reports said on Monday.

Britain’s Press Association said Telefonica bosses were concerned by the drop in stock prices of peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle and carmaker Aston Martin after their flotations in the past month.

O2
O2 logo (John Macdougall / AFP)

A Telefonica spokesman told AFP that it did not have a timetable for O2’s initial public offering (IPO), which the Press Association said had been expected this year.

Analysts said the sale could value the firm at up to £10 billion (11 billion euros).

Floating shares of its British subsidiary would help the Spanish company chip away at a mountain of debt of around 40 billion euros.

Britain will leave the European Union on 29 March, with the two sides still unable to agree how trade between the two will function thereafter.

The uncertainty and broader fears over Britain’s economic future have weighed on the London market for months.

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