October 16, 2018 / 6:43 PM / a month ago

Exclusive: Grupo Coppel postpones Mexico IPO indefinitely - sources

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican retailer and lender Grupo Coppel has indefinitely postponed a more-than-$1 billion initial public offering it considered launching this year after the family owners backed out, three people with knowledge of the deal said.

The logo of Grupo Coppel store is seen on a truck along a street in Mexico City, Mexico October 16, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

The conglomerate, which owns department stores and a bank, had hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to coordinate the offering, which aimed to raise more than $1 billion, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. That would have made it one of the largest IPOs in Mexico in years.

The company, owned by the billionaire Coppel family, had planned to publish a filing to the stock exchange as early as this week, but its owners changed their minds in recent days, the people said.

Representatives for Coppel did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople for Bank of America and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

The IPO plan, which was not public, was reported here by Bloomberg in June.

Coppel, which started as a small store in the northern state of Sinaloa, now sells appliances, electronics, furniture and clothing at some 1,400 stores throughout Mexico. In addition to financing customers’ purchases, 80 percent of which are made on credit, its banking arm also makes loans and takes deposits.

Mexico’s stock market has lagged those of other major emerging economies with about 150 listed companies, while Brazil has more than twice that amount.

One of the sources said there was a “generational divide” among Coppel’s owners, with some senior members of the family opposing the deal as they failed to see the advantages of opening their books.

This year, just one company has listed shares on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores amid emerging market turbulence, worries over the future of a trade agreement in North America and pre-election nerves over the prospect of leftist President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador coming to power.

Mid-sized Mexican bank Banca Mifel is poised to price its IPO this week, hoping to raise around $350 million.

Reporting by Christine Murray, Sheky Espejo and Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Frances Kerry

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