August 23, 2018 / 1:19 PM / 8 months ago

Portugal's Sonae step closer to listing food retail business

LISBON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Portuguese holding company Sonae has taken decisive steps towards launching an initial offering (IPO) of its market leading food retail subsidiary, the co-chief executive of the company said on Thursday.

Sonae MC operates 173 Continente hypermarkets and large supermarkets and expects growth in the Portuguese market to be one of the fastest in Europe in coming years, including in smaller local stores.

“The quarter was marked by results reached in terms of portfolio management, with decisive steps in the preparation of the potential IPO of Sonae MC,” said Angelo Pauperio, co-chief executive of Sonae.

In May, the company picked Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank to organise meetings with potential investors about the IPO. Sonae has said it would keep a controlling stake.

Luis Filipe Reis, who is chief executive of Sonae’s financial services unit, said while no formal decision has been taken at this stage to proceed with the IPO, the company will keep working with its global coordinators on the plan.

On Wednesday Sonae reported a rise in first half net income of 34.2 percent, helped by a 7.2 percent increase in revenues at Sonae MC to 1.9 billion euros.

Sonae also runs Worten consumer electronics stores and sells sports clothing and equipment through its Sportzone shops. (Reporting By Catarina Demony, writing by Axel Bugge; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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