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Brexit fears force O2 to postpone £10bn flotation
22 Oct, 2018

Telecom giant O2 is reportedly holding off its £10bn stock market flotation until after Brexit amid market uncertainty.

The mobile operator had been expected to list on the London Stock Exchange this year following 4G and 5G spectrum auctions in April, but accoreding to Sky News, sources have told the Press Association that those plans are now on hold. Telefonica declined to comment.

Accountancy giant EY has previously said that Brexit uncertainty is casting a "shadow" over the London IPO market.

While the operator made no firm commitment to float this year, Telefonica had been looking to raise cash on O2 as a means of driving down debts of around €40bn (£35bn).

However, the need to float the British mobile network to generate funds is now less pressing, with the Spanish group seeing its cash flow strengthen, reports said.

In August, Telefonica chief executive Jose Maria Álvarez-Pallete told reporters that he was "under no pressure" to sell a part of O2 through an initial public offering, but would continue to monitor the stock market.

"It would be a sizeable IPO, which would need attractive conditions, but it doesn't look like the financial markets are ready," he said at the time.