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Textile business Coats set to float

Historic textile business Coats is set to be floated on the London Stock Exchange by owners Guinness Peat Group.

Coats, which used to own luxury British heritage brand Jaeger and womenswear brand Viyella, is likely to be floated within two years, according to reports.

Coats, which manufactures thread and sewing supplies, is one of the UK’s oldest textile companies, with a history dating back to at least 1755.

It was bought in 2003 by Guinness Peat Group (GPG), the investment vehicle of New Zealand entrepreneur Sir Ron Brierly.

Coats will be one of the last parts of GPG to be floated. It will first spin off its Australian operations into a locally listed business.

GPG said that the board was pleased with the way in which Coats had weathered the financial crisis but added that an early float was not in the best interests of the shareholders.

In the year to December 31 2009 Coats recorded profits of $95.9m (£64.8m) on turnover of $1.4bn (£95m), down from profits of $120.8m (£81.6m) and a turnover of $1.6bn (£1bn) the previous year.


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