Arqiva, the UK’s largest owner of TV transmitters, has announced plans to raise around £1.5bn in the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in London so far this year, with the firm overall to be valued at £6bn.
Private-equity owned Arqiva, which carried the BBC's first television broadcast in 1936, said it will use the proceeds from next month's listing to pay down debt. Given its size, Arqiva is likely to enter the FTSE 100 index and its flotation comes amid a quickening pace of IPOs on the London Stock Exchange.
Ready meals supplier Bakkavor, business services firm TMF and credit services provider Cabot Credit Management are among those that have said they are planning to list in recent weeks.
Arqiva, which is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Australian bank Macquarie, was widely reported to be in talks about a trade sale.
However, the collapse of discussions with Canadian and Singaporean investors is understood to have paved the way for a float instead.
Arqiva’s chief executive officer Simon Beresford-Wylie said: "Arqiva provides the critical infrastructure and skilled workforce that ensures the effective operation of the UK's television, radio, telecoms and smart meters.
He added: “The group's strong cash flows and stable, long term capital structure will allow Arqiva to invest in its operations to drive future growth and pay a generous dividend."
For the year ended 30 June 2017, Arqiva generated revenue of £943.8mln, and had underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £467mln and an overall loss of £427mln.