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Fat Face IPO abandoned after lack of demand

Fat Face has called off its planned initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange, which was expected to value the company at £110m.

In a statement published this morning, the company said there had been a “strong level of interaction with, and interest from, institutional investors”, but had shelved the plans citing “current equity market conditions” as “the principal factor”.

“The board remains confident in the prospects for the business and will continue to execute the growth plans which are already underway,” it concluded.

Fat Face is expected to be forging ahead with its planned venture into the US, which will include store openings and the launch of a website. The expansion is expected to be funded from the company’s cash reserves.

A source indicated that Fat Face and private equity owner Bridgepoint could re-attempt an IPO at a later date, although the company did not confirm this.

The business, which was acquired by private equity firm Bridgepoint for £360m in 2007, launched the IPO on May 1 amid a spate of other retail IPOs. It had been seeking around £110m from releasing roughly a quarter of its equity, valuing it at £440m.

In January Fat Face appointed banks Citi and Jeffries after hiring financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard to advise on the deal.

A slew of debuts from retail brands on the stock exchange in recent months have failed to produce the strong results that investors hoped for. Recent launches such as Pets at Home and Card Factory have been trading below their anticipated share prices.

One source told Drapers: “This is a market issue. Investors have taken a view on IPOs in general, not just with Fat Face. Their reactions in the mid-market have swiftly reversed in light of other recent retail IPOs.”



Readers' comments (1)

  • A sale contract necessitates a person prepared to sell and another prepared to buy.

    But with recent IPOs one man’s insufficient demand can be another’s view that the company is over priced. So it would appear in the case of Fat Face with institutional investors reported to have sought an EBITDA range of 10-11.5 times which was too low for Bridgepoint.

    A pity given the strength of the Fat Face brand.

    Stephen Sidkin
    Fashion Law Group
    Fox Williams LLP

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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