UPDATE 3-France's Casino seeks Nasdaq global e-commerce unit IPO -source

miércoles 7 de mayo de 2014 06:41 GYT

(Adds analyst comments, share performance in paragraphs 4-8)

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Brad Haynes

SAO PAULO May 7 (Reuters) - France's Casino hired Morgan Stanley & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co to list its global e-commerce platform spanning from Brazil to Thailand, a person familiar with the plan said on Tuesday, as the group faces competition from U.S. giant Amazon.com Inc and Chinese rival Alibaba IPO-ALIB.N.

Casino's Brazilian subsidiary, GPA SA, said in a securities filing that the group was preparing to combine the online units for a potential initial public offering in the United States. According to the source, who requested anonymity because the plans are private, the preference is for an IPO on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The deal would bring new firepower to an e-commerce player with more than $4 billion in annual sales in France, Brazil, Colombia, Thailand and Vietnam at a time when major rivals are expanding their global reach. Shares of Casino rallied almost 3 percent to 91.68 euros in early Wednesday trading in Paris.

The French group, whose full name is Casino Guichard Perrachon & Cie, said that "a listing of the combined entity on the U.S. stock market, where many significant Internet technology players are listed, is being considered to speed up its development and boost visibility." It did not mention any advisers for the IPO.

With the plan, Casino "is prioritizing management focus and alignment for execution over ownership and process simplification," said Gustavo Oliveira, an analyst with UBS Securities. "This could drive global collaboration and best practices sharing, but tangible short-term revenues or synergies are almost non-existent."

Amazon arrived in Brazil earlier this year with its Kindle e-reader, and eBay Inc and is launching a site in Portuguese this week for Brazilian consumers.

Chinese Internet powerhouse Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which focuses in Brazil on business-to-business commerce, filed a prospectus on Tuesday for an IPO in the U.S. that is expected to raise upwards of $15 billion to expand its business.   Continuación...