LuLu Group International seeks pitches for $1 billion IPO

LuLu Group International seeks pitches for $1 billion IPO

LULU Group International, which operates one of the Middle East's largest hypermarket chains, has invited banks to pitch for roles on a potential initial public offering that could raise at least $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

The conglomerate is considering plans for a dual listing in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, the people said, asking not to be identified as discussing confidential information.

The IPO could take place in the second half and would likely involve LuLu's core business in the Gulf Cooperation Council, though the exact scope of the operations to be included in the listing hasn't been finalised, they said. A representative for LuLu declined to comment.

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Abu Dhabi-based LuLu raised 10 billion dirhams ($2.5 billion) to refinance debt ahead of a possible IPO, Bloomberg News reported in August.

Dual listings are relatively rare in the region. In 2022, Americana Group "- the operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants across the Middle East and North Africa "- was the first firm to pull off such a deal in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Indian entrepreneur Yusuff Ali founded LuLu in the early 1990s during a years-long oil boom in the Gulf region. It had an annual revenue of about $8 billion and employs more than 70,000 people, operating in 26 countries across the Middle East, Asia, the US, and Europe, according to its website.

LuLu sought pitches from investment banks about a listing in 2022 before delaying those plans.