Zegona raises £30M to kickstart 'buy-fix-sell' telecoms strategy

Zegona, a UK-based company established by former Virgin Media executives to execute a 'buy-fix-sell' strategy in the European telecoms, media and technology (TMT) sector, on Monday kicked off a plan to raise £30 million (€42 million/$44 million) ahead of the company's planned listing on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange on Mar. 19.

The company said it has received backing from a range of institutional funds managed by UK investor Neil Woodford, Fidelity and Standard Life. Following the planned listing on AIM, asset management and corporate finance group Marwyn Value Investors will be the largest shareholder in Zegona with a 40 per cent stake, down from 80 per cent before the admission to AIM, according to a stock exchange notice issued by the company. Woodford Investment Management and Fidelity's FIL Ltd. will each hold a 10 per cent stake.

Zegona was established with the aim of creating a concentrated portfolio of sizeable assets with enterprise values in the range of £1 billion to £3 billion at acquisition. It added that while it is initially raising £30 million, it expects to raise "significant additional capital" at the time of acquisitions. On Monday Zegona plans to issue 25,000,000 ordinary shares of £0.01 each at £1.20 per share.

Founded by former Virgin Media CFO Eamonn O'Hare and Robert Samuelson, who recently held the position of executive director group strategy at the UK cable operator, Zegona intends to exploit opportunities in the European TMT sector brought about by the rapid growth of data consumption, convergence of services and consolidation of operators.

It believes that the "current dynamics" of the sector create multiple investment opportunities and the potential to realise attractive returns, and intends to focus on strategically sound businesses in the fields of network-based communications and entertainment.

O'Hare, who holds the position of chairman and CEO, and COO Samuelson were involved in the transformation of Virgin Media and its strategic sale to Liberty Global for $24 billion (€22.7 billion). Mark Brangstrup Watts, the founder of Marwyn, holds the position of non-executive director.

For more:
- see the RNS update from Zegona
- see the first Zegona release
- see this Financial Times article (sub. req.)

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