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UAE’s Lulu Group to go public ahead of expansion

Abu Dhabi’s Lulu Group International is set to launch an IPO next year. The move comes as the retail giant plans to expand its operations across the Middle East. According to reports from a spokesperson, LuLu has hired investment bank Moelis to advise it on the deal.

The company’s plan to go public comes as listings in the Middle East and North Africa continue to rise, as economies recover after the pandemic.

Lulu Group’s director of marketing & communications, V. Nandakumar revealed that LuLu is set to expand aggressively, as it ventures into new markets including Iraq and North Africa.

The company is one of the largest supermarket chains in the Gulf, operating 239 stores in 11 countries and has sourcing operations in 23 countries, including the US, UK, Spain, Turkey, and China.

In 2020, Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company announced a massive investment to expand LuLu’s operations in Egypt. ADQ was set to make an investment of up to $1 billion in Lulu International Holdings. LuLu and ADQ said, at that time that they would launch 30 hypermarkets, 100 express shops, logistics hubs, and distribution and fulfillment centers.

V. Nandakumar, Marketing & Communications Director, revealed that LuLu is set to expand aggressively, as it ventures into new markets including Iraq and North Africa

“Our agreement with Lulu International Holdings reflects our wider commitment to investing in Egypt, following the announcement of our joint investment platform with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt late last year,” said ADQ chief executive Mohamed Al Suwaidi.

He further added that the opening of retail shops would provide economic relief to local communities in the country, thereby improving the quality and range of products available to Egyptians.

Later on, in 2021, ADQ teamed up with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt and introduced a $20bn platform to invest in several economic sectors, including health care, food, agriculture, mobility, and logistics.

Apart from LuLu, a whole lot of other listings were added on the UAE bourses this year. This includes Abu Dhabi Ports, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Borouge, TECOM Group, SALIK, Burjeel Holdings, ADC, Fertiglobe, ADNOC Drilling, Alpha Dhabi Holding, and Multiply.

Several other firms are also considering their initial public offerings on ADX and the Dubai Financial Market to build up flexibility against international reservations.

The MENA market reported a 500 percent rise in the number of listings in the first half of the year. According to an EY report, 24 IPOs raised $13.5bn in the first six months, while nine IPOs raised about $9bn in the second quarter of 2022.

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