UPDATE 2-Poundland owner picks Warsaw over London for Pepco listing | Reuters

South African conglomerate Steinhoff will list shares in its Pepco Group discount retailer business in Warsaw rather than London, in what could become Poland’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year.

Earlier this month, Reuters cited sources saying that Pepco, which owns Poundland in the United Kingdom as well as the PEPCO and Dealz brands in Europe, was valued at around 5 billion euros ($6 billion). nL8N2M94HQ]

Pepco trades from more than 3,200 stores across 16 countries and is led by Andy Bond, a former chief executive of Britain’s Asda supermarket chain. In Poland, it trades from more than 1,000 stores.

“Our proposed listing in Warsaw – home to our PEPCO brand since 2004 and the largest operating territory in the group, is a natural step,” said Bond on Monday.

In March, Pepco had said it was considering a listing in either London or Warsaw.

Steinhoff is still battling the fallout from a 2017 accounting scandal and since 2019 the company and its creditors have been evaluating options for Pepco.

It said it would sell at least 15% of Pepco’s shares.

“We are strongly positioned to deliver significant long-term growth, given our market leading customer proposition in the most attractive sector of retail,” said Bond.

He also highlighted opportunities to expand across the whole of Europe and investment in infrastructure in recent years.

Pepco does not, however, trade online.

Pepco has appointed Richard Burrows, chairman of British American Tobacco, as its chair and will appoint four other non-executive directors.

It also gave a trading update.

For the six months to March 31, revenue growth was 4.4%, reflecting the opening of 225 net new stores.

However, like-for-like revenue fell 2.1%, due to COVID-19 pandemic related store closures. ($1 = 0.8256 euros) (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle, Sarah Young and Jane Merriman)

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