October 5, 2018 / 10:17 AM / 8 months ago

Portuguese food retailer Sonae MC's IPO priced, worth up to 1.65 bln euros

LISBON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The initial public offering (IPO) of Portugal’s Sonae MC will be priced at 1.40-1.65 euros ($1.61-$1.90) valuing the food retailer at up to 1.65 billion euros, holding company Sonae said on Friday.

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 first IPO by a large Portuguese company in five years could reach 359 million euros, the company said in the secondary offer prospectus released on Thursday.

Shares in the holding company were up 0.4 percent higher in early trading on Friday versus a broader market in Lisbon down 0.4 percent in thin trading on a public holiday in Portugal.

The holding company, which has a market capitalisation of 1.74 billion euros, is also involved in the development and management of shopping malls, retailing of electronics and sports goods, real estate and telecommunications.

It is offering shares in its food retailing unit to retail and institutional investors and will keep a controlling stake. It expects Sonae MC’s free float to reach at least 21.74 percent, or 25 percent if an overallotment option is fully exercised.

The bookbuilding process will begin on Oct 8 and will wind up by Oct. 18, when the final pricing should be announced, the company said.

The listing and first day of unconditional trading in Lisbon is expected to take place on October 23.

Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank are the joint global coordinators of the offer.

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

Portugal, which suffered a severe debt crisis in 2010-13, has seen few IPOs in the past decade. The postal service CTT in late 2013 marking the first share offering since renewable energy company EDPR’s flotation in 2008.

In July, peer-to-peer lender Raize went public raising 5.5 million euros.

$1 = 0.8694 euros Reporting by Sergio Gonçalves and Catarina Demony, editing by Andrei Khalip and Jason Neely

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