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Shares in Polish e-commerce giant Allegro jumped 51 percent on their Warsaw Stock Exchange debut on Monday, giving the company a market valuation of 14.8 billion euros ($17.5 billion).
Allegro is now easily the most valuable business on the Warsaw bourse, displacing video games developer CD Projekt -- the company behind the global bestseller “The Witcher”.
Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin, who attended the launch, said the IPO -- Poland’s biggest ever -- was “good news for us all”.
“At a time so difficult for the Polish and global economy, the role of the e-commerce industry has increased significantly,” he said.
Shares were at 65 Polish zloty at 0915 GMT. The IPO was priced at 43 zlotys per share.
In an interview with AFP last week, Allegro CEO Francois Nuyts said he would like the company to expand overseas and he was unfazed about the prospect of Amazon launching in Poland.
“There are many things we believe we do quite well if not better than any competitors,” Nuyts said.
“It would be a shame if we didn’t find a way to have more customers and sellers internationally.”
The company, which was set up in 1999 as a homegrown version of eBay, has more than 100,000 sellers and some 12 million active buyers.
Buoyed by the e-commerce boom triggered by the pandemic, Allegro’s net profit jumped to 289.7 million zloty (64.2 million euros, $75.5 million) in the first half of the year from 195.7 million zloty in the same period in 2019.
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