OSN scrubs IPO plan

A few days ago the Dubai-based pay-TV operator borrowed $200 million in a 5-year loan. It now seems that the success of that exercise means the broadcaster will no longer proceed with its IPO.

Local reports quoting OSN’s CFO Oliver Sage state that the company now has no plans to go ahead with the IPO.

OSN is owned by two entities. Kuwait Projects Company (Kipco) owns a 60.5 per cent stake in OSN, and they hired investment bank Rothschild to advise on an IPO back in June.  Earlier this week analysts at Arqaam Capital revised its valuation for OSN from $2.5 billion to $4.3 billion and based on anticipated growth in the Middle East pay-TV sector.

OSN’s minority owner is Riyadh-based Mawared Group.

Arqaam’s Jaap Meijer said: “We believe it would be better for Kipco to wait with an IPO or a partial sale, as it continues to grow its subscriber base by over 20 per cent … and margin is expanding very quickly.” It still should be able to show consistent high double-digit growth over the next decade, in our view.”

Arqaam says that OSN grew by some 30 per cent last year to 734,000 subscribers, with revenues growing 24 per cent, and that the growth in subscribers and revenues has continued into 2013.

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