Japanese wireless service operator Willcom Inc., owned by U.S. investment fund Carlyle Group and Japanese electronics firm Kyocera Corp, will soon start choosing book-runners for its public share offering planned as early as next year, financial sources said. Willcom added 64,900 subscribers in February for a total of 3.8 million — an increase of 25 percent since March last year when it introduced the flat-rate voice plan.
A Willcom spokesman declined to comment on the report but reiterated past statements by Carlyle that it intends to take Willcom public within 3-5 years after the acquisition in 2004. A source at Carlyle said the book-runners for the IPO will be chosen shortly, paving the way for a listing next year. “They will hold a beauty parade of advisers to prepare for the float sometimes next month,” said a banker who declined to be identified. Continue>>