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Advent plans Amsterdam IPO of Polish parcel unit InPost, valuing it at up to $10 bln - sources

WARSAW/FRANKFURT, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Advent International is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) of its parcel locker business InPost in early 2021 in Amsterdam, several people close to the matter said, valuing its equity at between 7-8 billion euros ($8.51-9.72 bln).

The U.S. buyout group launched a sales process in autumn for InPost, hoping to cash in on a boom in consumers shopping online and getting parcels delivered to InPost lockers, they said.

Amsterdam is emerging as a popular post-Brexit European listing venue.

Private equity firms such as CVC, Hellman & Friedman and Silver Lake recently made offers for the firm, but Advent has for now told them that it is leaning towards an IPO as it expects a stock market flotation to maximise value.

Advent and CVC declined to comment, while H&F and Silver Lake were not immediately available for comment.

“Banks have told Advent to follow the IPO path. They expect it to be huge,” one of the people said.

Another source said that while a late January IPO in Amsterdam was currently the preferred option, an outright sale still remained a possibility.

Sources said that on top of lower minimum free float requirements for international companies, Amsterdam is seen as the international listing venue of choice after Brexit.

This is because Britain would no longer fall under the European regulatory authority and this could complicate trading for major European investors, one of the sources said.

Separately, Amsterdam has emerged as a hub for technology listings, another source said.

InPost is expected to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of up to 380 million euros next year, the sources said.

InPost is a part of Integer.pl, an operator of parcel lockers and courier services in Poland and internationally, which Advent took over in 2017.

Integer was launched in 1999 by Rafal Brzoska, the chief executive of the group. InPost was set up in 2006, while its parcel lockers started in 2009.

InPost has now around 9,000 lockers in Poland, a country of 38 million, or 1,000 more than a month ago. It also operates in Britain and Italy. InPost was listed in Warsaw in 2015-2017.

Citi, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are global coordinators with the help of Barclays, ABN Amro, Jefferies and BNP Paribas, the people said.

The banks declined to comment. ($1 = 0.8229 euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko in Warsaw, Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt and Abhinav Ramnarayan in London Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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