Joint EE owners Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom are close to appointing advisors to arrange a £10bn London stock market floatation this year, according to reports.
The joint venture is said to be arranging the appointment of advisors for the process with Morgan Stanley, expected to be lead underwriter, and JP Morgan and Barclays, tipped to be involved in the deal.
The process will see Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom sell off 25% of the joint venture as early as September, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
France Telecom’s finance director and deputy chief executive, Gervais Pellissier, confirmed last year that the joint venture is undertaking a strategic review and could be open to an initial public offering of EE.
Possible bidders include American telecoms giant AT&T, which is said to be seeking to buy the European mobile operator and private equity firm KKR after it emerged last summer that former EE CEO Tom Alexander held discussions about fronting a takeover bid by KKR.
In a statement EE said: 'DT and FT remain long term partners in EE. DT and FT are very confident in the management strategy which aims to strengthen EE's leading position in the UK, leverage on the largest 3G network and first 4G network roll-out, further progress the integration of T-Mobile and Orange and increase the profitability of this business in the coming years.
'In that respect DT and FT have decided to conduct a strategic review on the asset and consider different options with an IPO as the preferred option. We expect to conclude the strategic review in the course of 2013. As before, we do not comment on specific speculation.”