OVHcloud on the stock market? It becomes clearer

French cloud computing service provider OVHcloud has started the process of a possible listing in Paris, Reuters said. It would then be one of the largest stock market transactions in France.

Founded by Octave Klaba in 1999, OVHcloud is the largest cloud computing service provider based in Europe. The company competes with US giants Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google Cloud. Players who dominate the market.

In 2019, the company changed its name from OVH to OVHcloud, to make its mark in the cloud world beyond its primary business of hosting.

Agreements of all kinds

But beyond the name change, OVHcloud is now seen as a possible alternative to these American public cloud providers. However, it lacks the financial firepower necessary to take market share from them.

OVHcloud recently entered into partnerships with the leading European telecommunications operator Deutsche Telekom, the French IT services companies Atos and Capgemini.

But the company’s executives know full well that they cannot play the card of the fight against the American cloud giants. Last November, OVHcloud and Google Cloud forged a partnership to take advantage of a multicloud approach that respects European laws.

Octave Klaba and his family to retain majority stake in the company

The dominance of American cloud computing companies, however, raises concerns in Europe about access to sensitive corporate data in the wake of the adoption of the Cloud Act 2018 by the United States and in the absence of any major competitor, except Chinese company Alibaba.

At the start of the year OVHcloud obtained the SecNumCloud qualification for its Hosted Private Cloud solution. This qualification, awarded by Anssi, certifies that OVHcloud complies with the state of the art in terms of security for a cloud host.

Regardless of the outcome of the IPO, Octave Klaba, who is the chairman of the company, and his family would retain a majority of the company’s shares, a company spokesperson said. The Klaba family currently controls 80% of the shares of OVHcloud. US investment firms KKR and TowerBrook Capital Partners control the remaining 20%, after a combined investment of 250 million euros in 2016.

To the rescue of French Shadow?

At the beginning of the month Octave Klaba had mentioned being interested in the takeover of the French cloud gaming company Shadow, whose financing needs amount to more than 30 million euros. Blade, the company behind the Shadow service, is in financial difficulty. The company has been placed in receivership, and is looking for a buyer.

Based in Roubaix, OVHcloud employs 2,450 people and has 32 data centers located around the world. The company generated a turnover of 600 million euros in 2019.

Klaba hired Michel Paulin, former senior manager of the second French telecommunications operator SFR, as managing director in 2018.

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