MADRID — Spanish warehouse management company Mecalux will attempt to list in Madrid before the summer after postponing its planned market debut in April due to market volatility caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, three sources told Reuters.
The company is working with Goldman Sachs as global coordinator on the initial public offering (IPO) and aims to be valued at 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion), hoping to capitalize on investors’ interest in logistics assets.
Initial plans were for an official intention to float (ITF) announcement in mid-March ahead of a listing in April, the sources said.
But Russia’s assault on Ukraine and market uncertainty over the war prompted Mecalux’s main shareholders, the Carrillo family, to postpone the deal until the summer, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Now they plan to test the market again in June and launch the listing if there is investor demand.
Mecalux and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
Mecalux aims to take advantage of its growing robotics warehousing business, which generates less than 20% of its core earnings but has a strong potential compared to traditional racking and shelving, the sources said.
Automation in the warehousing industry has progressed from early-stage pilots to at-scale deployments, attracting investments from retailers and specialized groups.
According to a recent study from McKinsey, the warehouse-automation industry is expected to reach $51 billion in revenues by 2030, growing 23% annually.
On Feb. 15, Blackstone led a 21 billion euro recapitalisation of Mileway, the biggest operator of urban warehouses in Europe, which has now drawn takeover interest from Prologis Inc.
Mecalux sees Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore – which trades at 82 times its 2021 adjusted core earnings (EBITDA) of $158 million – as a possible comparable business, one of the sources said.
Following big declines when the Ukraine war started, equity markets have broadly recovered, with Spain’s Ibex currently trading over 8.400 points, versus 8.440 points on Feb. 23.
($1 = 0.9070 euros) (Reporting by Andres Gonzalez Additional reporting by Isla Binnie Editing by Pamela Barbaglia and Mark Potter)