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Boohoo may fast-track float to beat rival IPOs

Boohoo.com could go public as early as this month, with a source close to the company telling Drapers a prospectus is due out imminently.

The fast-fashion etailer has been mulling a flotation since last summer, and hired Zeus Capital as an adviser in November, but its plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) before Christmas were delayed by red tape.

It will now “definitely” list this quarter, the source said, with pre-marketing material being sent out to garner interest. Boohoo parent company Wasabi Frog is understood to be aiming for the business to be valued at £500m.

The most recent available figures show Boohoo grew turnover to £67m in the year to February 28, 2013, up from £29m in 2012. Pre-tax profits rocketed from nearly £250,000 to £3.3m.

The business is hoping to woo investors looking for a company with similar characteristics to Asos, with the source noting there was a “lack of online retailer stocks” available on the market.

However, Wasabi Frog is believed to be keen to float Boohoo as soon as possible because of the number of clothing retailers expected to go public this year. House of Fraser and Fat Face have both appointed advisers and are widely expected to list in the spring.

Womenswear retailer Bonmarché went public in November and its share price has since risen 8.27%.

“[Boohoo is] very much committed to doing it,” the source said. “There are an awful lot of other retailers out there who are gearing up to do it, so the sooner [Boohoo lists] the better.”

Boohoo did not respond to requests for a comment.

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