UK retailers prepare for IPO gold rush

IPO WATCH: Retailers are poised to raise more from IPOs in the first quarter of 2014 than in the past five years combined.

by Elizabeth Anderson

As the economy strengthens, investors’ appetite is returning and British retailers are set to raise a record amount in Initial Public Offerings according to new estimates.

Poundland, Pets At Home and online appliances firm AO.com have all announced IPO plans this month. They are expected to raise at least £841m from selling shares, according to data from accountants EY and research firm Dealogic acquired by Bloomberg. That compares to £266m raised by British retailers in the last five years combined, Bloomberg suggests.

Pets at Home, which has 369 stores across the UK, said yesterday that it hopes to raise £275m by floating ‘at least’ 25% of the business  to pay down debt, and to give its private equity owner, KKR, the chance to exit.

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