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Poundland owner mulls London or Warsaw listing

LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Pepco Group, which runs British discount retailer Poundland, is considering a public listing of its shares in either London or Polish capital Warsaw, it said on Wednesday.

Pepco, which also trades as PEPCO and Dealz in Europe, is part of South African conglomerate Steinhoff, which is still battling the fallout of a 2017 accounting scandal.

Since 2019 Steinhoff and its creditors have been evaluating a range of strategic options for Pepco Group, including a potential public listing, private equity sale or trade sale.

That process was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Steinhoff said in January it had resumed.

“We are engaged in considering those (strategic) options in more detail, including a potential public listing of Pepco Group in either London or Warsaw, although no definitive decision has been taken with respect to any specific course of action,” the group said on Wednesday.

In January, Pepco Group, whose CEO is former Asda boss Andy Bond, said it planned to open hundreds of stores across Europe this year despite its sales being dented by the pandemic.

The company, which does not trade online, ended 2020 with 3,218 stores. In 2021 it plans to open over 200 more PEPCO stores, over 50 more Dealz stores and over 20 Poundland stores.

Poundland listed on the London stock exchange in 2014. Two years later Steinhoff bought it for 610 million pounds ($840 million). ($1 = 0.7264 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by William James)

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