LONDON (Reuters) - The biggest food retailer in Belarus, Eurotorg, is planning to list its shares in London in the coming weeks, sources familiar with the matter said, potentially valuing the company at more than $3 billion.
About $300 million of shares are slated to be sold in the first international listing by a Belarusian business, one of the sources said, adding that the offering of global depositary receipts could be launched as soon as next week.
The sources declined to comment on the company’s valuation, but based on average valuation multiples of its peers, Eurotorg could be worth close to $3.4 billion including debt.
Eurotorg has said its earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the first half of 2018 grew 7 percent to 195.7 million Belarusian roubles ($92 million) on revenue of 2.18 billion roubles.
Minsk is reconsidering launching IPOs for some of its largest companies after plans were derailed by the financial crisis a decade ago.
First Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky last year said Belarus was considering selling a stake of up to 25 percent in its largest, state-controlled lender Belarusbank via an IPO in 2019. But the head of the bank said there were no plans to do this before 2020.
The government has also been making a push to introduce reforms to make it easier to do business in a former Soviet republic still weighed down by bureaucracy and dependent on Russian money and subsidies.
The private sector accounts for less than a third of gross domestic product. But some private firms are blossoming and say Belarus is a good place to do business because it has a cheap, educated workforce, competition is not fierce and corruption is less rife than in some neighboring countries.
Additional reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Alexandra Hudson and David Goodman