July 17, 2020 / 4:58 PM / in a month

Owners of auction website Allegro aim for Warsaw listing in September -sources

WARSAW/LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Private equity funds Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa Partners are pressing ahead with efforts to list Polish auction website Allegro on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in September, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The online marketplace, which competes with eBay and Amazon, has shelved its initial plans for a dual-listing in Warsaw and Amsterdam, they said.

“The decision has been made to list the company only in Warsaw,” one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Allegro’s owners are looking to raise $2.3 billion to $3 billion from the share sale, which would value the entire business at around $11 billion, the sources added.

This would be the biggest IPO in Warsaw since 2007, when Immoeast, company already listed in Vienna, sold shares worth over 2.8 billion euros ($3.20 billion), around 20% of which to investors in Poland.

Allegro was not immediately available to comment. Mid Europa Partners, Cinven and Permira declined to comment.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citi, Bank of America, JPMorgan are expected to work on the deal along with two Polish banks, one of the sources said.

Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa bought Allegro and online portal Ceneo from South Africa’s Naspers for $3.25 billion in 2016.

European IPOs raised just $5.6 billion in the first half of 2020, the worst since 2012, Refinitiv data shows, amid mounting concern over the scale of the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

But consumer demand for online goods has skyrocketed during the pandemic, as stores shut during lengthy lockdowns around the world.

Allegro, which allows both wholesalers and members of the public to sell on its platform, ranks as the most popular e-commerce site in Poland, with 79% of consumers using it, according to a 2019 Kantar study.

($1 = 0.8748 euros)

Reporting by Anna Koper, Clara Denina and Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan; editing by Louise Heavens

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