The company, whose operations span the Caribbean and South Pacific, is preparing an IPO for as soon as after the Federal Reserve reviews US interest rates next week, said the sources. The plans may change depending on the Fed’s decision, the people said.
Market conditions after the September 16-17 US rates meeting will provide the nearest opportunity to set a price range for the offering, they said.
Mr O’Brien founded Digicel in 2001 in Jamaica, a year after he received a $288m windfall from selling Esat Telecom Group, the telecommunications company he built in the 1990s, to BT Group.
Digicel, which operates in 31 markets, plans to use proceeds from the IPO for capital spending, acquisitions and to pay down debt, which totalled $6.5bn at the end of June, according to company filings.
Pat Walsh, a spokesman for Bermuda-based Digicel, declined to comment on the IPO timing or how much the company plans to raise. In June, Digicel filed to sell shares in the US and said it would list them on the New York Stock Exchange.
For the year through March, Digicel reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $1.18bn, on revenue of $2.79bn.
The company could fetch an enterprise value of $8.4bn to $9.6bn, said David Holohan, head of research with Merrion Capital. That would be seven to eight times last year’s Ebitda, including debt.