Lenta hypermarket chain raises $225m for expansion drive

Lenta CEO Jan Dunning

Russia’s Lenta budget hypermarket chain today announced that it had completed the placement of 35.2 million global depositary receipts (GDRs) at $6.40 apiece, providing it with $225m to accelerate the pace of expansion. 
Lenta plans to open at least 25 hypermarkets and between 10 and 15 new supermarkets this year, as the recession drives Russian consumers to look for cheaper goods.
 Lenta’s CEO Jan Dunning welcomed the new shareholders and said that Lenta’s low prices and low-cost business model, strong sales and results had helped put it in a strong position to capitalize on growth opportunities in Russian food retail. “With this further acceleration in new store openings, we expect to comfortably exceed our target of doubling net selling space over the three years ending December 2016,” he said.
 A source close to Lenta said that the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which had been instrumental in arranging the placement, had helped attract investors from the Middle East, Asia and Europe.