Leading Belarusian supermarket chain Eurotorg (aka Euroopt) has postponed what would have been the small northern republic’s first ever IPO blaming poor market conditions, the company announced on November 6. Eurotorg was due to be floated on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
“Eurotorg Holding Plc, the largest grocery retailer in Belarus, today announces that it has postponed its planned IPO on the London Stock Exchange, due to current market conditions. Despite significant interest in the business from investors, Eurotorg has decided to pursue its IPO when capital markets conditions become more favourable for emerging markets,” the company said in a press release.
The company has just been to London to road show the IPO and was met with positive sentiment from investors who “noted the company’s equity story and the professionalism of the management team,” as well as the growth prospects for modern retail formats and the company’s e-commerce strategy in the Belarusian grocery retail market, the company said.
Incomes have been rising steadily in Belarus which has been the fastest growing economy in Eastern Europe, partly lifted by the ongoing economic recovery in Russia, the country’s most important trade partner.
The supermarket business has been a winner and portfolio investors’ favourite in other countries of the region, making the Eurotorg offering very interesting to potential investors. The rising incomes are creating a middle class in Belarus and supermarkets are the first beneficiaries of this development.
“Eurotorg plans to revisit its IPO plans as soon as market conditions become more conducive to achieving a valuation that reflects the company’s true potential. In the meantime, the company’s strong free cash flows will allow it to continue executing on its growth strategy,” the company said.
Previously, the company was in London last July where it raised some $350mn in a bond placement to refinance bank debt and create investment capital for its expansion.