October 14, 2019 / 4:12 PM / a month ago

African mast operator Helios Towers' IPO to be priced at bottom of guided range

Oct 14 (Reuters) - African mobile networks operator Helios Towers Ltd is expected to price its initial public offering (IPO) at the bottom of a revised price range, the latest company to struggle on its debut in international markets.

One of the bookrunners handling the sale told Reuters it was guiding investors to expect a price of 115 pence a share, the low end of a 115-125 pence range, which was already lowered from an initial 115-145 range.

The bookrunner, who notified Reuters in an email, declined to be identified.

The move comes as Slack Technologies and Uber Technologies have performed poorly, with Uber now worth around 35% less than its IPO price in May. The parent of office-sharing startup WeWork pulled its planned IPO last week.

German biotech firm BioNTech SE sold fewer shares and at a lower price than originally planned in its IPO last week and Italian yacht maker Ferretti delayed its IPO deadline.

Helios Towers had originally priced its IPO at 115-145 pence per share, a source familiar with the matter had told Reuters, implying a valuation of $1.42 billion to $1.79 billion.

The company, which operates phone masts 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.

Helios is planning a free float of at least 25% of the company, with a listing on the London Stock Exchange, and will use the proceeds to expand its services, including possibly into new countries, it has said.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru and Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by Edmund Blair

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