Advisers to private-equity backed group are targeting a valuation of between €10bn and €12bn, according to Financial Times. If this is reached, Allegro would become Poland’s biggest listed company.
Poland’s biggest ecommerce platform, Allegro, said on Monday that it planned to list on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in what could become the central European country’s largest initial public offering.
Commenting on the announcement, François Nuyts, Chief Executive Officer, said: „I am delighted to announce Allegro’s intention to float on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Allegro is a unique success story shaped over 20 years, from local start-up to a European e-commerce champion. Alongside 12.3 million active buyers and 117,000 merchants, we are leading the digital transformation of Poland’s economy and improving the everyday lives of millions of Poles and thousands of SMEs.
Allegro has demonstrated exceptional growth, profitability and cash generation at scale over time. We have seen an acceleration of growth over the last three years thanks to our ongoing strategic initiatives and investments, with annual GMV and net revenue reaching approximately 25% and over 30% growth, respectively, in 2019, and GMV and net revenue growth each over 50% in the first half of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA saw a similar trend, growing at 20% in 2019 and 28% in the first half of 2020 with margins in excess of 45%.
Today marks a new phase in Allegro’s growth journey as we invest in innovation; bring even more customers to our platform; invest in our people; and create the best possible experience for our buyers and merchants. We are proud to offer institutions and individuals the chance to take part – and we intend for every Allegro employee to become an owner of the company too.”
According to intention-to-float documents published on Monday, the listing is set to include a sale of new shares worth about 1bn zlotys (€222m), as well as a “secondary component” in which the private equity groups and some company directors and managers will sell down some of their existing stakes.
The exact size of the offering has yet to be determined, but people close to the deal said that the listing would probably be 20 per cent to 25 per cent of the company. Poland’s biggest IPO to date came in 2010, when insurer PZU raised €2.1bn.
The flotation is expected to take place in October and, if successful, would be a shot in the arm for Warsaw’s stock exchange, which is dominated by state-controlled companies and has struggled to attract listings in recent years.
Allegro said that the transaction would enable it to repay part of its debt. At the end of June, its net debt was 3.7 times the company’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
Although Poland is a leader in digital payments, only 8 per cent of its total retail market is online, which Allegro believes gives it scope for further growth. In the UK, by contrast, 18 per cent of retail sales are online.
In 2019, the company made a net profit of 399m zlotys, up 73 per cent from a year earlier. Revenues were 2.39bn zlotys, up 31 per cent on 2018. Allegro was founded in 1999.
„Tendinţele pe care le-am remarcat înainte de începerea pandemiei s-au accelerat pe perioada stării de urgenţă. Am văzut acest lucru ca o oportunitate, un tipping point pentru bancă. Post-pandemie nu avem cum sa ne întoarcem la comportamentul financiar pe care îl aveam până în februarie a.c. Relaţia românilor cu online-ul s-a schimbat. In plus, cardul fizic se va dematerializa. Vom asista la o scădere a cererii pentru cardurile fizice, respectiv la o creştere a preferinţei pentru componenta digitală a acestora.”