Lulu Group International, which runs one of the Middle East’s largest supermarket chains, is considering an initial public offering early next year in the United Arab Emirates, people familiar with the matter said.
The diversified conglomerate — valued at more than $5 billion in 2020 — has asked global banks to pitch for roles for potential listings, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. The firm may opt for multiple listings in the Gulf stock exchanges, one of the people said.
Deliberations are ongoing and no final decisions have been made on the venue or details of the offering, the people said. It wasn’t immediately clear if Lulu wants to list parts of the business or the entire firm.
Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group was founded by Indian entrepreneur Yusuff Ali, who set up the first Lulu store in the early 1990s during a years-long oil boom in the Gulf region. The company also operates shopping malls and other businesses including hospitality, shipping and real estate. The company has an annual revenue of about $8 billion, employs more than 57,000 people and mainly operates in 22 countries located across the Middle East, Asia, U.S., and Europe.
“We don’t want to comment on market rumors,” said V. Nandakumar, Lulu Group’s director of communications. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is exploring a potential investment in LuLu Group International. This comes after ADQ acquired almost a fifth of LuLu Group International for just over $1 billion in late 2020.