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February 3, 2014

RUSSIA/UK: Retailer Lenta outlines London IPO plan

Russian retailer Lenta today (3 February) set out plans to list in London as it looks to double its store footprint over the next three years.

By Dean Best

Russian retailer Lenta today (3 February) set out plans to list in London as it looks to double its store footprint over the next three years.

Lenta has 77 hypermarkets in 45 cities across Russia, plus ten supermarkets in and around Moscow.

The retailer, in which private-equity firm TPG Capital owns a 49.8% stake, said it is the second-largest hypermarket operator in Russia and has plans to expand further.

“Our business model and flexible store formats have a proven ability to capture the growth potential in the Russian food retail market and Lenta is now pushing ahead with a programme of store roll-out across Russia,” Lenta CEO Jan Dunning said. “We now plan to double our selling space over the next three years.”

Lenta has a broad shareholder roster. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development owns 21.5% of the retailer. Russian private-equity firm VTB Capital Private Equity owns an 11.5% stake. Management and directors own a 1% stake and other minority shareholders own a 15.9% stake in Lenta. All shareholders, other than management and directors, are expected to offer shares.

TPG, VTB and the EBRD took control of Lenta in 2011 when they bought out a fourth investor, Svoboda Corporation.

The deal, which the EBRD then confirmed was worth US$1.14bn, meant Luna, a partnership between private-equity firms TPG and VTB, became the controlling shareholder.

Before the sale, Svoboda held a 40% stake in the company, while Luna owned 30%, and the EBRD had 11%, with the remainder held by minority shareholders.

The deal ended over a year of animosity between Luna and Svoboda, as the two groups disputed who should be CEO of Lenta – a row that led to Dunning, then the CEO of the retailer, leaving the business.

Net profit in 2013 was RUB7.1bn, a jump of 38.1%. Its adjusted EBITDA was RUB16.4bn, an increase of 28.9% on a year earlier.

Lenta’s sales in 2013 stood at RUB144.3bn, up 31.3% on 2012, driven by a 10% increase in like-for-like sales and “accelerating” selling space growth, the retailer said.

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