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Zalando gears up for Europe’s biggest internet IPO

German online sales site Zalando has lined up three banks to advise it on what is expected to be Europe’s biggest internet IPO.

The clothing site has selected Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to advise it on the offering but has yet to formally appoint them.

The float could value the Berlin-based etailer at more than €5bn (£4bn) according to The Sunday Times, which would make it Europe’s biggest IPO for an internet company.

Swedish investment group Kinnevik  is the biggest shareholder in the business with a 37% stake. Other investors include Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of Danish fashion group Bestseller- who took a 10% share in the business in August- and Yuri Milner, who was an early backer of Facebook.

In December Zalando changed its legal structure in a prelude to listing on the stock market and to reflect the size of the group, which has grown from a start-up five years ago into Europe’s largest online fashion retailer. A company spokesman told Reuters the restructuring would make the option of an IPO “more realistic”.

Zalando had net sales of €809m in the first half of 2013, up from €471m in the first half of 2012.

The online site is the latest in a wave of fashion businesses preparing to list in 2014.

As reported by Drapers last week Boohoo.com could go public as early as this month, with a source close to the company saying a prospectus is due out imminently and last month lifestyle retailer Fat Face appointed banks Citi and Jeffries to help advise on its flotation.

Womenswear retailer Bonmarché went public in November and its share price has since risen 8.27%. House of Fraser is also expected to go public in May.

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