France's OVHcloud kicks off process for potential IPO


By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS, March 8 (Reuters) - 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 U.S. giants Amazon Web Services AMZN.O, Microsoft's Azure MSFT.O and Google Cloud GOOGL.O, which dominate the market.

French politicians and leading businessmen have championed OVHcloud as a possible alternative to U.S. 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.

U.S. investment firms KKR KKR.N 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 euros ($712 million) in sales in 2019.

($1 = 0.8427 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by GV De Clercq and David Evans)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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