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Spain’s Berge plans to list its automotive unit Astara in 2023

Spain’s Berge, a leading logistics group, has hired three investment banks to advise on the listing of its automotive unit Astara next year, according to a report by Expansion.

Astara operates in 19 countries across three continents

Astara is a network of car dealerships that operates in 19 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. It sells and distributes vehicles from brands such as Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Peugeot. Astara also offers after-sales services, spare parts and accessories, financing and insurance.

According to Expansion, Astara had a turnover of 2.5 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in 2022 and sold more than 200,000 vehicles. The company has more than 6,000 employees and over 300 points of sale.

Spain’s Berge plans to list its automotive unit Astara in 2023

Berge seeks to raise cash and expand Astara

Berge, a family-controlled group that also has interests in port operations, energy and infrastructure, intends to raise cash from the listing of Astara to expand its automotive business. Expansion reported that the operation could value Astara at around 2 billion euros ($2.09 billion).

Berge has hired Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and HSBC as advisors for the listing, which is expected to take place in the first half of 2023. The report did not specify the percentage of shares that Berge plans to sell or the market where Astara will be listed.

Spain sees a revival of IPO activity

The listing of Astara would be one of the largest initial public offerings (IPOs) in Spain in recent years. The Madrid stock market has seen a drought of new listings in the last few years, mainly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the political uncertainty.

However, several companies in industries ranging from airlines to luxury and tourism have reportedly been weighing IPOs over the past few weeks. Some of the potential candidates include Iberia Express, a low-cost subsidiary of IAG; El Ganso, a fashion brand; and Parques Reunidos, an operator of amusement parks.

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