The past year has seen a resurgence of activity in capital
markets, including a number of high-profile flotations. This has
been viewed as a strong indication of growing confidence in the
markets following the recession.
In particular, a number of fashion and retail businesses have
chosen to undertake public listings combined with fundraisings on a
variety of stock exchanges, both in the UK (on the Main Market and
on AIM) and internationally, demonstrating the gradual recovery of
a sector which suffered more than most during the global financial
Examples of fashion and retail companies which have chosen to
list in recent months include:
Bonmarche, the UK fashion retailer aiming at female over-50s.
It floated on Londonfs AIM market via an IPO and placing in
November at a price of 200p per share, giving the company a
valuation of '200million
Conviviality Retail, owner of UK liquor store chain Bargain
Booze, which commenced trading on AIM (and also raised funds by way
of a placing) in August, and
Clairefs Inc, parent company of international accessories chain
stores Clairefs Accessories, which announced its intention to float
on the New York Stock Exchange in May.
In addition, Obuv Rossi, the shoe retailer, is considering
floating on the Moscow Stock Exchange.
The Bonmarché IPO is particularly notable as a
significant turnaround for the business: it was bought out of
administration only last year by Sun European Partners from its
former parent company Peacocks (which maintains its own high street
fashion presence in the UK). This is an indicator that not only are
retail and the high street fashion market emerging from the
downturn, but that, with appropriate backing and management, brands
can still position themselves to experience significant growth and
recovery and reach a point where they are able to bring themselves
Analysts anticipate that in the coming year fashion, retail and
consumer businesses will account for a significant portion of
upcoming IPOs, both in the European markets and globally. This is
viewed as a sign that the global economy is returning to health.
Consumer spending is increasing as a result of more disposable
income, which is fundamental to the growth and success of such
businesses. The recent and upcoming IPOs will also demonstrate to
other fashion and retail companies that accessing funds via public
equity is an achievable option for their business By Laura
Kichenside and Caroline Grange-Fielder (London) .
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discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be,
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