UAE’s LuLu Group plans to launch IPO in the first half of 2024

The hypermarket and chain operator plans to list its shares on Abu Dhabi bourse

LuLu, one of the largest supermarket chains in the Gulf, operates in 10 countries. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Abu Dhabi’s LuLu Group International is planning to launch an initial public offering in the first half of next year and list its shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the region's second-largest bourse.

The hypermarket and chain operator has hired investment bank Moelis to advise it on the deal, a company representative told The National.

LuLu, one of the largest supermarket chains in the Gulf, founded by Indian-born businessman Yusuff Ali, operates 254 hypermarkets and shopping malls in 10 countries including India, Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The company aims to start 80 more hypermarkets in GCC and other countries in the next two years, the representative said on Monday.

The retail conglomerate has been planning an IPO for some time and had initially targeted the listing to take place this year.

LuLu's IPO plans come amid a surge in listing activity on regional stock markets including the ADX, the Dubai Financial Market and Saudi Arabia's Tadawul, as their economies recover from the coronavirus-induced slowdown on the back of higher oil prices and government reforms.

The volume of IPOs on bourses in the Mena region climbed by 44 per cent annually in the second quarter of this year amid robust economic growth, according to global consultancy EY.

Growth in the number of deals was driven by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the top regional economies, EY said in a report last month.

The number of listings rose to 13 during the three-month period to the end of June, bucking the global slowdown in equity capital markets activity, it said.

However, proceeds from Mena listings dropped by 80 per cent to $1.8 billion, according to EY data.

Middle East IPOs raised more than $23 billion in 2022 from 48 listings, compared with $7.52 billion from 20 offerings in the previous year.

Updated: September 25, 2023, 9:16 AM