Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

O2 IPO

Spanish-owned mobile operator O2 has been eyeing the stock market since 2016. However, an initial public offering (IPO) is off the table for the company following a merger with Virgin Media. Learn more about the latest developments in this guide.

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccountenquiries.uk@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account. We’re available from 8am to 6pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.

Contact us: 0800 195 3100

O2 IPO

Spanish-owned mobile operator O2 has been eyeing the stock market since 2016. However, an initial public offering (IPO) is off the table for the company following a merger with Virgin Media. Learn more about the latest developments in this guide.

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccountenquiries.uk@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account. We’re available from 8am to 6pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.

Contact us: 0800 195 3100

Why trade the O2 IPO with us?

Trade before the IPO

Get exposure to O2 before the listing by speculating on its predicted market cap

Speculate on O2

Buy or sell O2 shares with leveraged exposure using spread bets or CFDs

Buy O2 stock

Invest in O2 with a share dealing account

How to trade IPOs with us

We’re the only UK provider that lets you take a position pre-IPO, participate in the IPO and trade the stock once it’s fully listed.1 While you won’t be able to trade the O2 IPO – following the company’s merger with Virgin Media – you can trade other IPOs in the following ways:

Before the listing

If there’s a lot of interest in a particular IPO, we may offer a ‘grey market’ ahead of the listing. This will enable you to speculate on the company’s share price using spread bets or CFDs before it lists. Our grey market price will be based on our prediction of the company’s market capitalisation at the end of the first trading day.

With our grey market, you can:

  • ‘Buy’ if you think the market cap will be higher than the price indicated
  • ‘Sell’ if you think the market cap will be lower than the price indicated

What is a grey market and how does it work?

After the listing

You could trade a company after a listing by speculating on its share price movements or investing in its shares.

With us, you can:

  • Choose to trade derivatives such as spread bets and CFDs
  • Buy shares outright via share dealing

Trading vs investing in O2 shares

Trading and investing in company shares differ in a number of ways. With us, you’ll use spread bets and CFDs to trade O2 shares, speculating on the rising and falling share price. So, you wouldn’t own the underlying company shares. When spread betting or CFD trading you could receive various tax benefits.*

Spread bets and CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to commit a deposit upfront – called margin – to receive full market exposure. But, bear in mind that while margin can increase your profits, it can also increase your losses – so it’s important to take steps to manage your risk.

Learn more about the impact of leverage on your trades

When investing in O2 shares with us, you’ll use a share dealing account to buy and sell the underlying stock. Because you’ll own the shares, you can only make money if the share price goes up – but you would also be entitled to dividend payments that are made (if any) as part of your shareholder rights.

Leverage is not available for investments – so, you’ll need to put down the full value of your share dealing position. When investing, you’ll never lose more than this initial outlay (excluding additional fees).

* Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

What will the O2-Virgin Media merger look like?

The O2 IPO could was initially expected in 2020, but these plans were abandoned after a merger between O2 and Virgin Media was confirmed in May of the same year. Telefonica and Liberty Global agreed to merge the respective businesses, in an attempt to overtake BT Group as the leader in the UK market.

The new company will become the largest telecoms provider in the UK in terms of customers, based on 2019 numbers. Together, they will have 46.5 million customers – 32.6 million on mobile, 5.3 million on broadband, 4.9 million on phone and 3.7 million for TV.

Trade or invest in similar stocks today

If you want to get exposure to other companies in the mobile technology sector right now, you can choose between stocks such as Telefonica, Liberty Global Vodafone and BT.

Prices above are subject to our website terms and conditions. Prices are indicative only.

" edit-mode="false" style="--live-prices-table-rows:4" >

Prices above are subject to our website terms and conditions. Prices are indicative only.

Open an account now

Fast execution on a huge range of markets

Enjoy flexible access to more than 18,000+ global markets, with reliable execution

Deal seamlessly, wherever you are

Trade on the move with our natively designed, award-winning trading app

Feel secure with a trusted provider

With 45 years of experience, we’re proud to offer a truly market-leading service

When is the O2 IPO?

The O2 IPO could happen in 2020, but no date has been confirmed. The company started talks about a listing in 2016, but decided to delay its plans due to uncertainty over Brexit. In 2018, plans for an IPO were discussed briefly once again, but put on hold after several other companies found their listings to be more difficult than anticipated. It is now expected that O2 will file for the listing after the UK formally leaves the EU.

O2 is likely to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). It was most recently valued at £10 billion (in 2018).

What is O2’s business model?

O2’s business model is centred on running a 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network, and operating a wi-fi service in the UK. It is part of the global telecommunications group Telefónica S.A, which operates in Europe and the Americas. It uses the Telefónica Group’s business model and applies it with consideration to the local market.

O2 is the UK’s leading mobile operator and employs nearly 7000 people. The company supports several sustainability, recycling and online safety initiatives, and it is also involved in a few high-profile sponsorships, such as that of the England rugby team.

How do IPOs work?

IPOs happen when a company decides to list its shares on an exchange, such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and start selling them to the public. IPO is short for ‘initial public offering’.

You can learn more about IPOs in this video.

What are the risks of trading or investing in an IPO?

All trading and investment activities involve risk – IPOs have additional risks, which include:

  • Not knowing about information that’s critical to a company’s share price, e.g. ongoing legal cases and intellectual property without patent protection
  • Limited or non-existent trading history to base decisions on
  • Inflated market expectations that do not materialise
  • The actual company valuation coming in lower than its targeted market cap


Before committing to any trade, it’s important that you have all the facts that you need. In the case of trading IPOs, you can use company prospectuses, admission documents and other information to stay up to date. By staying informed, you can avoid risks that could affect your position.

Register your interest for IPO news


For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

Choose the UK’s No.1 spread betting and CFD provider2

Why open a trading account with anyone but the best spread betting and CFD provider? With 45 years of experience, we're proud to offer a truly market-leading service.

Try these next

Learn how to trade or invest in Uber shares with us

Discover the differences between spread betting and CFD trading

Learn how to trade or invest in Trainline shares with us

1 Based on our IPO offering that includes pre-IPO grey markets, primary market access, and trading and investing on the secondary market.
2 Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, October 2022).