Polish Investors Hopeful For eCommerce After Allegro IPO

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Executives at MCI Capital, the biggest publicly traded private equity firm in Poland, are optimistic that a recent record-breaking initial public offering (IPO) in the eCommerce space bodes well for the industry, Bloomberg reported.

Online retailer Allegro.eu was valued by investors at $25 billion in a deal last month, Bloomberg reported, in a transaction whose value was driven up by the shift of Poles to online shopping as a result of the pandemic. The transaction was assessed a huge success by the industry at the time.

Eyeing the success of that transaction for the owners who took Allegro.eu public, MCI Capital now is seeking to hold an IPO to sell investors a stake in Answear.com, Bloomberg reported.

Answear.com sells brands including Levi’s, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein Jeans, according to its website.

MCI sold one of its own portfolio companies, data center operator ATM Group, to a fund backed by Goldman Sachs for $135 million, Bloomberg reported, and the recent deals have generated optimism among the private equity fund’s leadership.

“Transactions like Allegro or ATM show that our fears about the pace of growth in the region had been unfounded,” MCI Founder Tomasz Czechowicz told Bloomberg in an interview, according to the news service.

MCI management team member Maciej Kowalski told Bloomberg the shift of Poles to digital commerce has accelerated so much because of the pandemic that the “process can’t be stopped now.”

Globally, experts predict, online shopping will surpass prior levels significantly this holiday season. One report, by Adobe Analytics, concluded this year’s online holiday shopping is likely to surpass last year’s by 33 percent.

MCI, which was part of previous transactions involving Allegro, focuses on digital companies, according to Bloomberg. The company’s website stated that it was founded in 1999 and is 76 percent owned by management.

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