Spinneys is one of the legacy names in UAE retail sector. The company, part of Al Seer Group, currently has more than 70 outlets, including under the 'Waitrose' name. Post-IPO, Spinneys is planning a major push into Saudi Arabia too. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai-headquartered Spinneys, the supermarket operator and one of the legacy names in the UAE’s retail sector, is offering up a 25 per cent stake via an IPO, which will open for subscription on April 23.

The listing of Spinneys – part of Al Seer Group - on Dubai Financial Market is set for May 9, according to the company.

The share price offer range will be confirmed just ahead of the subscription’s opening.

Spinneys thus becomes the second stock market float in the UAE for 2024, after Parkin, the RTA-affiliated parking spaces operator.

Just as important, Spinneys’ entry also sets up the platform for more privately owned entities in the UAE to seek a listing on DFM or ADX. Last year, there was the one from Al Ansari Financial Services – the currency exchange firm - on DFM, while ADX saw the F&B holding company Americana and that of the asset manager Investcorp Capital.

Spinneys’ IPO numbers

In effect, 900 million shares will be floated by the company, which has an extensive network of Spinneys’ supermarkets and also has an association with the storied UK retailer Waitrose for the UAE market.

Retail investors to the IPO have been allocated 5 per cent of the IPO (or 45 million shares) in the first tranche. Each of the subscribers will be ‘guaranteed a minimum allocation of 2,000 shares’. Retail investor interest has been building up nicely for recent IPOs in the UAE, and Spinneys will be looking to tap heavily into that.

The second tranche, meant for professional investors and institutions, will see 855 million shares in play.

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Spinneys’ financials for 2023 Image Credit: Supplied

Expansion into Saudi Arabia

For Spinneys, the new funds and high visibility public listing will come in handy as it seeks to broaden its geographical presence. There is a planned entry into Saudi Arabia within the first-half of 2024 itself. The plan is to develop its base in the Kingdom further.

“Spinneys operates an excellent mix of locations, both under its own branding and with Waitrose (at Dubai Mall and Nakheel Mall),” said a retail sector consultant. “The supermarket sector in the UAE has been one of the biggest direct beneficiaries from the inflow of new residents into the country, and Spinneys has been a major beneficiary.”

Currently, in the UAE, the retailer has a 75 store network, making up 1.3 million square feet of gross leasable area. Of these, 64 outlets are owned by the company. Apart from the core ‘Spinneys’ brand, the company’s other retail-facing labels include Waitrose and ‘Al Fair’.

Over the recent past, there has also been an extension into online retail for Spinneys, as well as rolling out its private labels under the ‘SpinneysFOOD’, ‘SpinneysHOME’, ‘SpinneysWELLNESS’ and ‘Fine Food’ names.

"There is still a lot of growth to be had in online grocery sales, both in the UAE and Saudi Arabia," said the retail consultant. "Spinneys will look to develop its base further in this space. It will be interesting to see how the company rolls out its presence in Saudi Arabia, whether it will be physical stores first and then the digital shopping channels. Or go for both upfront."