Grocery chain Victoria is exploring options, including an initial public offering this year, to fund growth, the group's chairman said Wednesday.
"We are not ruling out such an option, although we have yet to make the final decision," Nikolai Vlasenko said, adding that the IPO was likely to be held on a domestic bourse in the spring or autumn of this year.
Vlasenko, who owns about 35 percent of the chain, said the company had mandated Goldman Sachs and Renaissance Capital to stage either a stock listing or a stake sale to a financial investor.
"We are currently defining a new development strategy, and thus we need money to finance it. The strategy foresees a significant increase of our market share," he said.
Very few Russian companies have floated in the past two years, after a peak in IPOs in 2007 when 21 companies raised $21.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. But the market is reopening after United Company RusAl raised $2.2 billion in a Hong Kong/Paris listing last week.
If Victoria goes ahead with the IPO, it will become Russia's fifth public food retailer, adding to X5, Magnit, Dixy Group and Sedmoi Kontinent.
Victoria, which operates about 230 stores mainly in and around Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad, generated $1.4 billion in sales in 2008.