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Sphera Franchise Group lists 25% stake on Romanian capital market

posted onNovember 3, 2017

The shareholders of Sphera Franchise Group, the company that manages restaurants under the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands in Romania, have raised RON 285 million (EUR 62 million) from the listing of the company on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).

The subscription period started on Tuesday, 24 October and ended on November 2, at a price of RON 29 per share. The shareholders put up for sale 9.8 million shares at a price ranging between RON 25 and RON 33 per share.This is the first company in the local restaurant sector that lists its shares on the Romanian capital market. "The trading of shares in Sphera on the spot regulated market operated by the BVB under the symbol 'SFG' is expected to start on or around November 8," the bourse said in a statement. Some 95% of the shares were offered to institutional investors while only 5% were sold to retail investors.

The Group had announced on October 9 its plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the BVB. 

“We are encouraged by the market environment and anticipate that the positive macroeconomic and industry trends will continue in and beyond 2017. We believe in the group’s prospects and are looking forward to this next important milestone in the company’s development, the listing of its shares on the BVB and raising the group’s profile and visibility as a public listed entity" Mark Hilton, Sphera CEO, had said.

Czech brokerage firm Wood & Company acted as sole global coordinator and joint bookrunner in connection with the offering. Raiffeisen Bank (Romania) acted as joint bookrunner and Alpha Finance Romania S.A. as co-lead manager.

Sphera Franchise Group

Sphera Franchise Group was incorporated in June 2017 and operates the outlets of KFC, Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut Delivery and Taco Bell in Romania, KFC in the Republic of Moldova and KFC in the north-east area of Italy.

Prior to the establishment of Sphera Franchise Group, the fast-food chains were part of the US-based YUM! Brands group subsidiary in Romania owned by Lucian Vlad, Radu Dimofte and Nicolae Badea. Sphera Franchise Group inherited the same shareholding structure. Dimofte holds a 44% indirect stake in the company while Lucian Vlad and Nicolae Badea, who sold some of their shares in the IPO, still hold about 31% of the company’s shares.

Sphera Franchise Group is one of the biggest restaurant operators in Romania with over 3500 employees. The group recorded a net profit of EUR 11.3 million in 2016, up 9% year-on-year and overall sales of EUR 113 million, up 26.8% over 2015. The Romanian foodservice sector is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 4.6% between 2017 and 2022. 

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