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UAE mall operator Lulu plans a Gulf listing in 2024

Lulu is opening two large shopping malls in Ahmedabad and Chennai in India Shutterstock/Wiropidah Dahlan
Lulu is opening two large shopping malls in Ahmedabad and Chennai in India

Retail conglomerate Lulu Group International expects to launch its initial public offering (IPO) in the first half of 2024, said chairman and managing director Yusuff Ali.

The IPO will be launched in the Gulf, but no specific stock exchange has been decided, Ali said on the sidelines at an event in New Delhi.

The hypermarket chain and mall operator, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has appointed Moelis and Co. as advisor for the IPO, Ali added.

Bloomberg reported last month that Lulu Group plans to raise AED10 billion ($2.72 billion) to refinance debt before a potential IPO.

Lulu has invested INR200 billion ($2.41 billion) so far in India, with plans to increase investment to INR500 billion by 2025, the chairman said.

The company will set up two large shopping malls in Ahmedabad and Chennai, the Asian News International news agency reported.

“We are going to construct one of the largest shopping malls in Ahmedabad and Chennai and we are opening our shopping mall in Hyderabad by the end of this month,” he said, adding the company plans to open more shopping malls and food processing units in different Indian states.

Founded by Indian billionaire Ali in the early 1990s, Lulu has an annual revenue of about $8 billion and employs more than 65,000 people in 23 countries across the Middle East, Asia, the US and Europe.

According to the EY IPO Eye Q2 2023 report, activity in the Middle East and North Africa raised a total of $1.8 billion in proceeds from 13 IPOs.

Although this dropped by 80 percent year on year, the growth in the number of listings was driven predominately by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.