Polish E-Commerce Firm Allegro Leaps 50% On Market Debut
Shares in Polish e-commerce group Allegro leapt more than 50% on their stock market debut on Monday, immediately making it the biggest listed company in Warsaw with a market value of about $17.6 billion.
Poland hopes the initial public offering (IPO), its biggest in years, will boost the Warsaw stock exchange, which has struggled to attract new listings and seen a drop in turnover.
"In these difficult times when we fight with the pandemic and recession, we all need good news. Allegro's debut is good news for all of us," deputy prime minister, Jaroslaw Gowin, told a news conference.
Upper End Of Guidance Range
At 09:05 GMT, Allegro shares were trading at 65.43 zlotys, up 52.2% from their IPO price of 43 zlotys, which was itself at the upper end of the guidance range.
Allegro, founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, is the most recognised e-commerce brand in Poland, with its website attracting 20 million visitors a month.
It also operates in one of few business areas to benefit from the pandemic turmoil as shoppers switch to buying online.
"This was a blowout in terms of valuation, reception and market performance. I think in terms of the wider IPO market, it just reinforces the theme that if you are high growth, in the right sector, there is a market for you," a source familiar with the transaction said.
"For Poland, I think a lot of companies will view this valuation and see what can be achieved, so I do think it will spark some activity."
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.
Allegro's IPO comprised more than 23.25 million new shares and 190.29 million existing ones. Previously, the largest company on the Warsaw exchange was video games producer CD Projekt.