May 14, 2018 / 7:09 AM / in 5 months

Turkish discount grocer Sok raises $531 million after cutting IPO price

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish discount grocer Sok Marketler on Monday raised 2.3 billion lira ($531 million) in an initial public offering, after being forced to cut the price and extend the bookbuilding amid weakening demand for new listings.

Sok, whose largest shareholder is the investment arm of food giant Yildiz Holding, said it priced the offering at 10.5 lira a share, the top of its reduced range of 10-10.5 lira.

Last week it cut the price by a quarter and said its top shareholder had placed an order for another $100 million shares, moves designed to boost demand.

The company will also increase capital through a private placement to Yildiz Holding, the owner of Godiva chocolates and McVitie’s biscuits, and will receive 351 million lira in proceeds, it said in a statement.

The outlook for the IPO was clouded after two clothing retailers, Beymen Magazacilik and DeFacto, canceled plans to list in recent weeks, citing low demand. The cancellations also coincide with a downturn in Turkish equity prices after shares reached a record high in January.

The flotation values the grocer at 6.43 billion lira with 35.71 percent traded on the Istanbul stock exchange following the completion of the Yildiz Holding allocated capital increase at the same price.

Sok’s book was oversubscribed and 85 percent of the shares was sold to foreign investors including the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), while the remainder was bought by domestic investors.

Sok shares will start trading on May 18.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by David Dolan

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