Azerbaijan's largest agri-processing conglomerate eyes London listing

By bne IntelliNews October 20, 2016

Azersun Holding, the largest agri-processing conglomerate in Azerbaijan, is eyeing a public listing on the Baku and London stock exchanges in the medium term, CEO Savash Uzan told abc.az on October 19.

“We intend to launch the [listing] process by the end of next year and to place some 30% to 40% of the shares in the Azerbaijani Sugar Production Company on the bourses,” Uzan said about one of the processing facilities under the conglomerate's control.

Azersun Holding is an oligopoly that controls some of the most lucrative agri-processing niches in Azerbaijan, such as the production of fruit juice, fruit and vegetable preserves, pomegranate sauce, tea, dairy, spices, and canned and processed foods. Past investigations have linked the holding to the country's first family through two Iranian businessmen.

Azerbaijan has long sought to boost its domestic capital markets. The local bourse has little activity at the moment in the form of over-the-counter trading of debt instruments. An initial public offering of tech company GoldenPay, first expected in 2013, never took place.

Furthermore, given the level of opacity in corporate governance in the country - and in Azersun in particular - the company will have its work cut out to meet listing requirements on foreign bourses like the London Stock Exchange. 

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