- Paperchase expected to be valued at over £150m
- Private equity backer Primary Capital is looking for an exit after six years of ownership, according to reports
- Paperchase’s senior management keen for a flotation rather than a sale
Paperchase is being primed for a £150m stock market flotation around two years after its owners had considered a sale of the business.
The greeting cards retailer is looking at the option of going public as private equity backer Primary Capital eyes an exit after six years of ownership.
According to The Sunday Times, sources expect a stock market listing to value the retailer at over £150m.
Paperchase’s senior management, led by chief executive Timothy Melgund, are understood to have pushed for the retailer to be listed rather than sold.
Primary Capital abandoned plans to sell the stationery chain in 2014 after failing to fetch a large enough price from bidders. The private equity firm, which hired PwC and Finico to assess its options, was understood to be looking for £150m for the business.
A Paperchase spokesman said: “There are no immediate plans to change our ownership structure but as we look to the future, there are a number of options available for consideration, which of course we match against our brand ambitions.”
Paperchase, which made a £4m profit on sales of £102m in the year to January 2015, is currently trialling a concession partnership with fashion behemoth Next.
The greeting cards retailer, which currently has 160 stores and concessions in the UK, also has ambitions to establish a bricks-and-mortar presence in the US.
Speaking to Retail Week in July, Melgund said: “We’re still looking to test the concept in a standalone format in the States.”