France's OVHcloud kicks off process for potential IPO

Photo: AP Octave Klaba, fondateur of OVH

French cloud computing services provider OVHcloud has started the process for a potential listing in Paris, a spokeswoman said on Monday, in what would be one of the country’s biggest tech transactions of the year.

Founded by Octave Klaba in 1999, OVHcloud is the biggest European-based cloud services provider, competing against US giants Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud, which dominate the market.

French politicians and leading businessmen have championed OVHcloud as a possible alternative to US cloud services providers, but it has so far lacked the scale and financial firepower to dent their market share.

The spokeswoman declined to provide the names of the financials advisers. She confirmed the initial public offering (IPO) would take place in Paris.

Whatever the outcome of the IPO, Klaba, who is chairman of the company, and his family would retain a majority of the company’s shares, the spokeswoman said. The Klaba family currently controls 80% of OVHcloud’s shares.

US investment firms KKR and TowerBrook Capital Partners control the remaining 20%, after a combined 250 million euro-investment in 2016.

Based in Roubaix near Belgium, OVHcloud employs 2,450 people and has 32 data centres worldwide. It generated €600 million ($712 million) in sales in 2019.

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