Supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize has put plans for an IPO for its online retail arm Bol.com on ice because of the prevailing market conditions, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday, quoting unnamed sources.
The decision follows sliding share prices among its competitors, which grew enormously during the coronavirus pandemic but have now seen sales decline, the FD said. Bol.com sales were down 7% in the first quarter of this year.
The paper also said analysts had expressed doubts about the timing of the listing, which was planned to take place in the second half of this year. The IPO, had it gone ahead, would have been the biggest of the year on the Amsterdam stock exchange.
Bol.com, which earlier this week said it has signed up its 50,000 sales partner, said in November it was focusing on an ‘intended sub-IPO bol.com and increased investments in digital and sustainability’.
Last year, Bol.com benefited in particular from the lockdown, with year on year sales rising 70% in the final quarter of the year. In total, Bol.com turnover hit €4.3bn, compared with a target of €3.5bn. This year, the Dutch online retailer is targeting sales of €5bn.
Ahold bought Bol.com from Cyrte Investments and NPM Capital for €350m in 2012.
The company has declined to comment on the reports, the FD said. ‘We are fully focused on finding the right way to create value for Bol.com and Ahold Delhaize’, a spokesman told the paper.
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