UAE-based Lulu to raise Dh10b ahead of IPO

The hypermarket chain is realigning its capital structure before a possible IPO listing in 2024

by

Issac John

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Published: Thu 10 Aug 2023, 9:24 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Aug 2023, 9:25 PM

LuLu Group International, the Abu Dhabi-based leading hypermarket chain and mall operator in the Middle East, is raising Dh10 billion to refinance debt ahead of potential initial public offering (IPO), according to informed sources.

The conglomerate, which was valued at more than $5 billion in 2020, is realigning its capital structure before a possible listing in 2024 after delaying those plans this year. It is working with Moelis & Co. on the IPO plans, the sources said.


An official spokesperson of Lulu group told Khaleej Times that the substantial syndicated loan underscored the confidence its financial partners have in the global retail giant’s vision and strategy. “This injection of funds will empower us to pay off existing debts, further extend our footprint with 80 new hypermarkets across the GCC, Egypt and beyond, enhance supply chain networks and ecommerce capabilities, which will contribute positively to the economies in which we operate."

He said the group's commitment to delivering exceptional value to its customers remains unwavering. “With a reputation built on quality, innovation, and customer-centricity, the company is poised to capitalise on emerging opportunities and elevate its global presence to new heights with our IPO plans. Our performance so far this year is very encouraging and we expect a growth of around 15 per cent this year,” the spokesman said.


The group is reportedly borrowing the funds from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Bank and Mashreq Bank, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. The loans have an average maturity of 10 years.

In 2020, an investment firm backed by a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family bought a 20 per cent stake worth just over $1 billion in the group that operates shopping malls and other businesses including hospitality, shipping and real estate.

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Founded in the early 1990s by Indian entrepreneur Yusuff Ali, chairman and managing director, LuLu group recorded an annual revenue of about $8 billion in 2022. It employs more than 65,000 people in 23 countries across the Middle East, Asia, the US, and Europe.

In November 2022, LuLu group partnered with Amazon to offer online grocery shopping in the UAE via a branded storefront on Amazon.ae. “We believe in listening to customers and adapting our model to cater to their evolving shopping preferences,” Yusuff Ali said when the partnership with Amazon was announced. “We are excited to be working with Amazon to offer an innovative online grocery offering.”


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