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Footasylum confirms IPO as ex-JD boss Bown joins

Shoe retailer Footasylum has confirmed it is to float on the London Stock Exchange’s junior Aim market in November, in a listing estimated to value the retailer at £150m.

The 60-store chain will float next month as it plans to expand to at least 150 shops in the UK, growing at a rate of eight to 10 a year.

The company also expects to make “significant investments” over the next three years in increasing its digital presence as part of a broader upgrade of its IT systems to support growth.

Former JD Sports chief executive Barry Bown will join the board as executive chairman on 1 June 2018, when Footasylum co-founder John Wardle retires from the role.

Bown joined JD Sports in 1984 and was CEO from 2000 to 2014.

Clare Nesbitt, CEO of Footasylum, said: “This is a logical next step in Footasylum’s upward trajectory as we seek to build on our exciting product-led, multichannel expansion strategy. We pride ourselves on being a dynamic, adaptive and fast-moving business with a strong competitive position, a great stable of third-party and own brands, and a disciplined approach to delivering sustainable growth.

“We see substantial opportunities ahead across our retail, online and wholesales channels, and believe that we have the people, products and strategy to realise them.”

Wardle and co-founder David Makin hired investment bank, GCA Altium, to sell a 40% stake in the business in July this year.

The duo founded JD Sports in 1981 and sold their remaining 45% stake in the business to Pentland Group in 2005.

They set up Footasylum in 2009.

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