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Blue Inc to float on stock market in June

Young fashion retailer Blue Inc will list on the Alternative Investments Market (Aim) later this month, it announced in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

It is expected to list on June 19, at an as-yet-undisclosed price per share. However, Drapers understands it will be valued at about £60m. Half the equity will go public and it is thought that between £10m and £15m could be ploughed back into the business.

Chief executive Steven Cohen told Drapers last month that “the main focus is to raise new money in order to supercharge our ongoing growth plan – in particular investing in the existing store estate, which has already grown significantly in the last two to three years”.

He said there was the “opportunity for up to 500 highly differentiated stores across the UK” in prime and secondary locations. 

Cohen is one of 10 current shareholders, with a 13.48% stake. Sir Stuart Rose, who stood down as chairman in April, holds a 5.12% stake, Aim submission documents show. It is not stated how ownership will be divided up post-listing.

Blue Inc has 240 stores, nearly 10 times the number it had when Cohen bought it in 2006. This has come from organic growth and through bolt-ons from its acquisitions of the D2 and Officers Club chains. The company reported sales of £98.7m and EBITDA of £4.5m for the year ended 31 December 2013.

The listing comes amid a spate of retail IPOs in the past six months. Some retailers have abandoned their float plans, with analysts saying the “froth has come off the market” in recent weeks.

Cantor Fitzgerald is advising Blue Inc.


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