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France’s Casino creates ecommerce platform and seeks IPO

Today, Casino Group announced a project to create an ecommerce platform which combines businesses of Cdiscount and Nova Pontocom. With this transaction a major global ecommerce pure-player arises and the goal is to file for an IPO. Cause that may be a lot easier when the ecommerce division of Casino Group is independent from the supermarket division of the France company.

There were already rumors about a possible, separate listing of Casino’s ecommerce division, but those rumors only concerned Cdiscount. In an official press release, Casino says that “a listing of the combined entity on a US stock market is considered in order to accelerate its development and increase its visibility.” This is because both ecommerce companies are doing very well, but their performances get a little snowed under by the activities of the supermarket group. The new international holding company will initially be known as NewCo.

About Cdiscount and Nova Pontocom (aka NewCo)
Cdiscount (active in home country France, as well as Colombia, Thailand and Vietnam) and Nova Pontocom (which is jointly held by GPA and ViaVarejo) had total business volumes of 2.95 billion euros in 2013. Cdiscount had online sales worth 1.50 billion euros in 2013 and is known as one of France’s biggest ecommerce leaders. Nova Pontocom recorded online sales worth 1.44 billion euros last year. It offers products through several Brazilian websites like Pontofrio.com and Extra.com.br and also owns B2B website eHub.com.br. Nova Pontocom accounts for almost a fifth of the market share in Brazilian online retail.

And if you’re wondering how Nova Pontocom is related to Casino Group: GPA, which is Casino’s Brazilian subsidiary, has its own subsidiary Via Varejo, which owns Nova Pontocom. This ecommerce company was created in 2010 thanks to the merger of the online operations from Casas Bahia, Ponto Frio and Extra.

Last month JP Morgan raised its stance on the Casino stock from “neutral” to “overweight” and raised its target price from 81 euro to 91 euro.

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