Thursday, September 16News That Matters

Poundland owner Pepco snubs London with £4bn Polish float

Poundland’s owner is snubbing London to pursue a €4.5bn (£3.9bn) listing in Warsaw after months of deliberations about a flotation that would have further bolstered the ranks of listed retailers on the London stock market.

Sky News has learnt that Pepco Group, which trades from more than 3,000 stores across 15 European markets, has decided to pursue an initial public offering (IPO) in Poland that is likely to take place in the coming months.

London had re-emerged as a serious contender to stage the listing, but Pepco’s management and shareholders are understood to have opted for Poland owing to its huge presence in the country.

The company trades under the PEPCO brand in eastern European countries
Image: The first stores using the Pepco brand opened in Poland in 2004. Pic: Pepco

Steinhoff International Holdings, Pepco’s South Africa-based owner, said in January that it was re-examining a flotation of one of Europe’s biggest discount retailers.

In addition to Poundland, the group trades under the Pepco and Dealz brands and has said it expects post-pandemic economies to see greater demand for value-based chains.

Pepco Group is run by Andy Bond, the former Asda chief executive, and employs well over 30,000 people.

The first stores using the Pepco brand opened in Poland in 2004, and the country now has more than 1000 trading under the name.

More from Poland

Dealz also has a big presence in Poland.

It initially planned to go public last year, and insiders said a dual listing in London and Warsaw remained a potential outcome.

Pepco shoppers
Image: Poland has more than 1,000 Pepco stores

A private equity takeover is also a possibility, with significant interest having been expressed in the business last year by buyout firms including Advent International.

A Pepco spokesman declined to comment.