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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Subhiksha's float in second half of 2007

Discount retailer Subhiksha Trading Services is planning its initial public offering, IPO in the second half of 2007, reports Business Standard.

While announcing its plans to open 1,000 outlets across 10 states in the country by 2007 with a total outlay of Rs 500 crore, Subhiksha MD R Subramanian said, “The IPO is more for listing than raising money. It is to give liquidity to the shareholders.”

Subhiksha plans to open 180 stores across eight cities in Maharashtra at an investment of over Rs 100 crore. It will open as many as 80 outlets in Mumbai to be operational in the next four weeks.

Other cities where the company start its stores are Pune, Kolhapur, Sholapur, Sangli, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur.

Subramaniam said, “With Maharashtra we will complete the final leg of our phase I (Rs 300 crore) expansion plan, meeting our 600-store target. We will shortly undertake our phase 2 expansion debuting in five states – Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and West Bengal – and also in Chandigarh. We hope to hit the 1000-store mark during 2007.”

At present, Subhiksha has over 450 stores in five states with over 1 million sq ft of retail space.

The retail chain operates in four verticals – fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and telecom. Its direct supply arrangements with manufactures helps it reduce the supply-chain costs, in turn helping it keep prices of all products much lower than the market levels.

Commenting on the recent industry speculation that other retailers were in the lookout for acquiring Subhiksha, Subramanian said, “We categorically deny any discussions with any company. Speculation or claims in this regard are baseless. We have no intention to sell the company. On the contrary, constantly expanding, we are not averse to buying anything suitable.”

The MD said Subhiksha expected to more than double its revenues in 2006-07 – to Rs 750 crore from Rs 330 crore – in the year ending March 2007.

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