Polish mobile operator to use bulk proceeds from Warsaw listing to pay down debt.

Poland’s Play last week revealed that its initial public offering (IPO) will raise €1.04 billion.

The operator sold 121.57 million shares – which includes a 11.05 million over-allotment – at 36 zlotys (€8.55) each, significantly lower than the upper limit of PLN44 set out in its prospectus (PDF). At the maximum price, Play’s IPO would have raised PLN5.35 billion (€1.27 billion).

Play’s shares will list on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) on 27 July.

It is the largest European telecoms IPO since June 2015, when Spanish towers firm Cellnex raised €2.14 billion from its listing. In that same month, Telecom Italia raised €875 million from the IPO of its infrastructure unit, INWIT.

"Poland proves to be a great country to build a business from greenfield to a company servicing millions of customers. With Play listing on the WSE we continue our commitment to provide outstanding service to our customers and deliver attractive returns to our investors," said Jorgen Bang-Jensen, CEO of Play, in a statement.

Play will use the bulk of the net proceeds to pay down a €500 million debt owed by parent company Impera Holdings, and to pay a PLN650 million dividend for the financial year ending 31 December.

Shares will also be issued to employees as part of an incentive programme.