Singapore’s GIC backs $517m IPO of Turkish discount grocer Șok Marketler

Șok Marketler
Photo: Șok Marketler website

Singapore’s GIC has picked a minority stake in Turkish discount grocer Șok Marketler in its recently concluded TL 2.3 billion ($517 million) initial public offering. The sovereign wealth fund is estimated to have spent about $32 million on the stake acquisition.

Șok Marketler operates 5,100 small-format stores that offer a wide range of products, including fruits, vegetables and personal care products. Part of the Turkish food corporation Yıldız Holding, it also operates 5,100 stores and 24 warehouses.

The grocer’s IPO is one of the largest equity issues on Borsa İstanbul, Turkey’s sole stock exchange, in a decade.

GIC joined a group of foreign investors that bought 85 per cent of the 218.5 million shares on offer. The remaining 15 per cent were bought by domestic investors, according to a Yıldız statement.

Investment banking firm Genesis Investment Management and European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) acquired 15.6 per cent and 15.54 per cent, respectively, of the publicly offered shares.

Neuberger & Berman acquired 9.15 per cent, followed by GIC (6.18 per cent), Schroder Investment Management (5.49 per cent) and Blackrock AM UK London (5.30 per cent).

“The strong level of interest from investors in our initial public offering is a clear proof of confidence in our country, our industry and our Company. We are very proud of completing one of Turkey’s largest initial public offerings and look forward to maintaining our successful performance in the years to come,” said Şok chief executive Uğur Demirel. 

The company’s controlling shareholder Yıldız will also separately subscribe, by way of a private placement, for 33.428 million shares at the offer price. Șok will receive TL 351 million ($78.75 million) in proceeds from the private placement.

Șok’s shares are expected to start trading on the Borsa Istanbul on Friday, 18 May, under the trading symbol “SOKM”.

Its record IPO comes as other companies cancelled their plans to list on the Istanbul stock exchange as Turkish equity prices plunged. Among those that cancelled their listing plans are clothing retailers Beymen Magazacilik and DeFacto.

Following a robust period of high activity between 2000 and 2013, in which 162 IPOs were completed with an aggregate volume of TL 19 billion ($4.3 billion), IPO activity in Turkey has slowed down in recent years.

To revive the capital markets, Borsa Istanbul last year eased listing requirements and incentivized Turkish companies to go public.

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