Nakumatt Plans Initial Public Offer in Kenya Within 5 Years

Nakumatt Holdings Ltd., East Africa’s biggest retail chain by outlets, plans to start trading on the Kenyan stock exchange within five years and cross-list in the region, Managing Director Atul Shah said.

The Kenyan company will sell a 20 percent equity stake early next year to fund expansion, Shah said by phone today from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. After four or five years, the Kenyan retailer plans to sell a 20 percent to 25 percent stake in an initial public offering on the Nairobi bourse, he said.

“We are on an expansion mode and currently our bottom line is very thin,” Shah said. The company is targeting sales in 2014 of about $650 million from $600 million last year.

The supermarket chain has 7,000 employees and outside the 36 branches in Kenya, it also has operations in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The Nairobi-based company plans to open its 50th outlet on Aug. 23 in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha. As well as starting two more stores in Kenya this year, it’s planning to expand into South Sudan and Burundi.

Shah said last year the company is seeking to raise as much as $50 million from private equity companies or local and international financial institutions and may consider entering a partnership with other retail chains in exchange for a stake.

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