The Polish IPO with a high price tag and even higher hopes (Financial Times)

Photograph: Sebastian Deptula via Flickr

When the IPO of Allegro, Poland’s biggest ecommerce company, was announced earlier this month it had a lofty valuation attached and some equally lofty hopes — that it would boost the country’s fortunes as a financial centre and help end the “old economy curse” afflicting the Warsaw exchange. 

Allegro’s owners, private equity groups Permira, Cinven and Mid Europa Partners, were targeting a valuation of between €10bn and €12bn. In the event, the company announced on Tuesday that it had priced the shares at 43 zloty each, raising 9.2bn zloty ($2.3bn) and giving it a valuation of 44bn zloty or $11.2bn. This makes it Poland’s biggest IPO and Allegro the country’s largest listed company. 

The scale of demand for shares in a company that intersects tech and retail was such that Allegro last week raised the amount of stock it was selling by 14 per cent from 216m to 246.9m shares. This fed optimism that the successful IPO of a company powered by the country’s growing middle-class would give a new lease of life to GPW, the Warsaw exchange.

You can read my report for the Financial Times here.