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Pyaterohka closes stores despite IPO push

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by Brian Turner
Pyaterohka closes stores despite IPO push

The pricing of the initial public offering of Russia’s largest grocery retailer on the London Stock Exchange hit a snag when the company had to close almost 10 percent of its stores due to a hepatitis A outbreak among its employees.

22 of Pyaterohka stores in St. Petersburg remained closed after 55 cases of the disease had been identified among staff. The source of the infection was believed to be contaminated hot meals to staff canteens by a caterer.

The outbreak forced an initial shutdown of 109 stores, but 87 of them had reopened by Thursday.

Those close to the IPO said that the outbreak had not affected the sale of shares in London and the company insisted that it would have no impact on financial results for the year.

The chain, which operates stores in Moscow and St. Petersburg, issued the IPO in hopes of raising at least $598 million by selling 30 percent of its equity.

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News posted: May 5, 2005

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