British footwear chain Office is said to be preparing for impending stock market flotation in 2015 that could value the chain at 300 million pounds. Silverfleet Capital, private equity owners of Office shoes, are believed to be taking on investment bank JP Morgan,to oversee a public listing sometime next year, according to the Express.
Office potentially preparing for IPO
The shoe retailer's flotation would join the likes of initial public offerings (IPO)from retailers such as Shoe Zone, Bonmarché and Poundland. The growing interest from investors for retailer IPOs during the first half of the year is a sign of increasing confidence in the strengthening retail sector, after a small number of profit warnings.
Office was previously under fire when news broke that founder of sportswear chain Sports Direct, Mike Ashley was considering an offer to obtain the footwear chain. However Sports Direct maintained that it was not interested in acquiring Office.
“Such speculation is unhelpful to the customers, staff, suppliers and other stakeholders of both companies, particularly as Sports Direct focuses on building brand support for the group's premium lifestyle format - USC / Republic,” said the company in a statement.
Office was acquired by Silverfleet in December 2010 from Sir Tom Hunter's firm, West Coast Capital, for an undisclosed sum. The shoe retailer first opened its debut stand alone store in 1981 and since then has grown to own 99 stores as well as 48 concession stands in premium department stores such as Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Selfridges.
Images: Office store in London