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M and M Direct IPO expected by mid-June

Off-price etailer M and M Direct will list on the stock market as early as mid-June, with owner TA Associates looking to offload at least half of the company.

It will list on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) and is being advised by Canaccord Genuity and Investec. The IPO is expected to value M and M Direct at between £140m and £170m.

Sales at the etailer grew 10% to £109.5m for the year to February 24, 2013, with EBITDA up 19% to £8.7m.

Private equity firm TA Associates, which acquired the business in 2007 for £86m, had considered selling it in March this year. According to one insider, it is now fully focused on the IPO and looking to offload a minimum of 50% – although it is thought to be keen for a full-scale exit.

Ahead of the float, N Brown chief executive Alan White has been hired as chairman and will take the reins following the IPO.

M and M Direct chief executive Jonathon Brown said in a statement: “We are well positioned to benefit from the trend towards online retail and have a clear strategy to develop and expand our UK and European businesses. This listing will give us the opportunity to accelerate our growth.”

White added: “M and M Direct’s management team has built a leading online off-price retailer and is highly regarded by its suppliers.

“I am delighted to be involved at this stage of its development and am looking forward to working with the high-calibre executive team and board.”

M and M Direct’s plans to go public follow a flurry of retail IPOs, including Bonmarché, Boohoo and Shoe Zone. Blue Inc is expected to be next, and it is thought the menswear retailer is likely to be oversubscribed when it does.

Last week, Fat Face pulled out of its own proposed float, however, and other industry listings – such as Marks & Spencer supplier Bagir – have fared less well, with some commentators citing “investor fatigue”.

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