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Ahead of expected IPO, Pepco takes PEPCO brand to Spain

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LONDON (Reuters) - Discount retailer Pepco Group said on Friday it would open its first PEPCO branded store in Spain this month and 10 more by September, stepping up its expansion ahead of an expected initial public offering (IPO) this year.

The group, which also trades as Poundland in the United Kingdom and Dealz in Europe, is part of South African conglomerate Steinhoff, which is still battling the fallout of a 2017 accounting scandal.

Steinhoff said on Monday it had decided to seek necessary consent from its financial creditors for a listing of Pepco Group.

That decision came in the wake of reports last week that Pepco would list its shares in Warsaw rather than London, in what could become Poland's biggest IPO this year.

PEPCO's first Spanish store will be located within the Grand Via Shopping Centre in Alicante and will open on April 29.

Its entry into Spain follows a successful opening in Italy where it has traded five stores since September 2020.

PEPCO has also started preparations to open stores in Austria.

"We completed extensive research on the Spanish market, which we already know well from the rollout of our Dealz brand there, and see it as a key part of our ambitious plans to become Europe’s pre-eminent discount variety retailer," said Pepco Group CEO Andy Bond, a former boss of British supermarket Asda.

With its entry into Spain PEPCO will trade from 2,200 stores in 14 countries, with the overall group, including the Poundland and Dealz brands, trading in 16 countries across Europe and more than 3,200 stores in total.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)