Mar 13, 2020
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Pepco flotation postponed on stock market plunge, Andy Bond illness

Mar 13, 2020

Steinhoff has postponed the possible flotation of its budget retailer Pepco due to volatility in global stock markets on the back of the coronavirus. But the delay has also come as a result of the sick leave being taken by Pepco boss Andy Bond whose illness is unrelated to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Pep&Co clothing has a prominent place in Poundland stores - Photo: Sandra Halliday

The company had been planning to sell or list the European division, which has a Europe-wide chain of around 2,800 stores. These include Poundland in the UK as well as Pepco and Dealz on the continent. Hundreds of the stores sell the budget Pep&Co-clothing range that has proved extremely successful since the company started opening concessions in those store a few years ago.

Steinhoff's final decision around a takeover or IPO had been expected at some point during this year with the company having confirmed late last year that it planned to divest the European operation.

The parent company had been reportedly seeking around €4 billion for the Pepco operation, but the prospect of a prolonged period of low valuations for listed companies worldwide has led to the indefinite postponement.

However, the situation of Andy Bond, is also a factor. The respected retail specialist and ex-Asda boss is a Pepco Europe shareholder and has led it during a period of expansion. He’s currently on a two-month leave of absence for medical treatment.

While his illness isn't linked to the coronavirus, the fact that Pepco gets many of its products from China and other asian markets affected by coronavirus could have an impact on its supply chain. However, it hasn’t issued any update around this.

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