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Liberty owners eye float

The owner of Liberty, private equity firm BlueGem, is to launch an IPO for the business within three years.

BlueGem, which paid £32m for Liberty in 2010, has spent the past five years overhauling the brand, following years of losses and a lack of investment.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, BlueGem chief executive Marco Capello said: “The ultimate goal is to float the company. It’s one of the great British brands and we have no intention of selling it. The company was losing money for many years in a row and was not in a good shape.”

In its latest results, the company made a pre-tax profit of £12.4m in the year to February 2014.

The investment firm has focused on boosting Liberty’s own brands and floral prints. A London listing is expected to take place by 2018.

Capello added that the Crossrail development is unlikely to benefit sales directly as the store already benefits from being just off Oxford Street in London’s West End.

He said: “London is already incredibly well served. There are some days where you can’t get into the shop, although of course we would love to have people spending more money.”

@jillgeoghegan

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