Cloud Firm OVH Plans $468 Million IPO for International Growth
OVH Groupe and its backers are seeking as much as 404 million euros ($468 million) in an initial public offering in Paris that will give the cloud-storage provider funding to finance its competition with Amazon.com Inc. and accelerate its international expansion.
OVHCloud will market shares at 18.50 euros to 20 euros each through Oct. 14, with trading to begin the next day, the company said in a statement Tuesday. The company aims to raise about 350 million euros, while existing holders, including private equity firms KKR & Co. and TowerBrook Capital Partners, will sell as much as 54 million euros worth of shares.
OVHcloud was valued at more than $1 billion in 2016, when KKR and TowerBrook took a combined 20% stake in the business.
OVHCloud leases out storage and processing power to customers such as tiremaker Michelin and the French presidential palace. Besides Amazon Web Services, its competitors include Microsoft Corp.’s Azure division and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud.
There’s been a flurry of French IPOs this fall, with companies trying to take advantage of buoyant markets. Worries over a possible stock slump and lofty valuations have since prompted some companies, including health-care property company Icade Sante SAS, to pull their planned IPOs. Others, such as the French cybersecurity firm Exclusive Networks SA, were forced to price at a discount.
OVHCloud said in June it had begun preparations for a stock-market listing. Founder Octave Klaba and his family own 76% of the company and plan to remain majority shareholders after the offering.
The company, based in Roubaix near the Belgian border, has been laying the groundwork for an IPO for years. In 2018, it hired veteran telecommunications executive Michel Paulin as chief executive officer. It had a setback this year when a fire destroyed one of four data centers in Strasbourg, France, and damaged another.
Klaba started the business in 1999, opening his first storage site in Paris with a loan from telecom entrepreneur Xavier Niel. His parents, immigrants from Poland, joined the company in its early years, and his brother, Miroslaw Klaba, is research and development director, according to OVH Groupe’s website. Family members plan to sell shares in the IPO, according to the statement.
If there’s enough demand, underwriters can place additional shares from KKR and TowerBrook, taking the deal size to as much as 465 million euros.
BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and KKR Capital Markets are global coordinators, along with bookrunners Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale SA, while CIC is co-lead manager.
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