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Expanding Blue Inc plots £60m float

Young fashion chain Blue Inc is understood to be eyeing a £50m to £60m stock market valuation if it successfully lists at the end of the year.

The retailer, which has been open about its plans to float at the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011, said it was in the “early stages” of planning the listing. However, managing director Steven Cohen would not comment on a potential valuation of the 87-store business.

Although a much smaller listing, if the float goes ahead Blue Inc would be following in the footsteps of Supergroup - the business behind the Superdry brand and Cult Clothing chain - which made its stock market debut with a value of £395m last month, the first fashion sector listing since Sports Direct’s in 2007.

It is not clear which market the retailer plans to list on. Cohen said: “It would be a post-election float if we did it. We will see if the opportunity is right, but it’s about timing.”

The retailer is pushing ahead with online growth and store expansion plans and will open five stores in Northern Ireland over the coming months in locations including Londonderry and Belfast.

Over the past three years, Blue Inc has increased sales from £17m to £56m, while EBITDA has risen from £150,000 to £2.8m.

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