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Polish e-commerce company Allegro lights up Europe’s IPO market

Polish e-commerce company Allegro lights up Europe’s IPO market

WARSAW/GDANSK, Poland (Reuters) – Shares in Polish e-commerce group Allegro leapt more than 60% on their debut on Monday, giving the company a market value of almost $19 billion in Europe’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) so far this year.

Allegro logo is seen on a smartphone in front of a displayed stock graph in this illustration taken October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, Allegro is central Europe’s most recognised e-commerce brand and its website is attracting 20 million visitors a month as consumers go online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allegro’s strong start mirrored the performance of some recent IPOs in the United States where shares have shot up as investors showed they were willing to pay for companies with potential for growth.

Last month, British e-commerce firm The Hut Group made the biggest debut on the London Stock Exchange in seven years and Allegro’s successful launch was a further sign the European IPO market is picking up.

However, investor appetite seems to be reserved for tech and growth companies – sectors that corporate Europe is light on compared to the United States, where a number of blockbuster tech IPOs have launched this year.

“The recent pandemic highlighted the value of e-commerce for a consumer, and accelerated e-commerce penetration,” said Ivan Kim, an analyst at Xtellus Capital. “Allegro is a well-established marketplace … and is already quite profitable.”

Shares in Allegro closed the day at 70 zlotys, up 63% from their IPO price of 43 zlotys, which was at the upper end of the guidance range.

Allegro immediately became the most valuable company on the Warsaw bourse, which said the company would replace Commerzbank’s mBank in its index of the 20 biggest companies WIG20

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E-Commerce Group Allegro Lights up Europe’s IPO Market, Leaping 50% on Debut | Technology News

E-Commerce Group Allegro Lights up Europe’s IPO Market, Leaping 50% on Debut | Technology News

By Anna Banacka and Anna Koper

WARSAW/GDANSK, Poland (Reuters) – Shares in Polish e-commerce group Allegro leapt more than 50% on their trading debut on Monday, giving the company a market value of about $17.6 billion in Europe’s biggest IPO so far this year.

Allegro’s strong start mirrored the performance of some recent U.S. IPOs that have shot up on their first days of trading, demonstrating investors’ willingness to pay for growth.

Allegro, founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, is central Europe’s most recognised e-commerce brand, with its website attracting 20 million visitors a month.

At 1126 GMT, its shares were trading at 68.1 zlotys, up 58.4% from their IPO price of 43 zlotys, which was itself at the upper end of the guidance range.

“When pricing deals like Allegro, it is more important to build momentum than to maximize price on day one,” said Christoph Stanger, who co-heads Goldman Sachs’ European equity capital markets business, which helped organise the IPO.

Private equity owners Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa will want to benefit from that momentum in follow-on placements, after only 25% of the Polish company was floated in the IPO, Stanger said.

Europe’s IPO market is showing some signs of picking up, with Britain’s The Hut Group last month making the biggest debut on the London Stock Exchange in seven years.

However, investor appetite seems to be reserved for tech and growth companies – sectors that corporate Europe is light on compared to the United States, where a number of blockbuster tech IPOs have priced this year.

Allegro operates in one of few business areas to benefit during the coronavirus pandemic, as shoppers switch to buying online.

“The recent pandemic highlighted the value of e-commerce for a consumer, and accelerated e-commerce penetration,” said

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