The Works’ private-equity owner Endless is reportedly planning to either float the discount arts and books retailer on the stock market, or sell it.
According to The Times, Endless, which bought The Works out of administration in 2008, has hired the bank Investec to begin preparing a listing or sale for next year.
However, a spokesperson for The Works told Retail Week: “Endless has no plans to exit The Works in the foreseeable future and the management team remains focused on continuing to expand the business and drive the excellent growth delivered over the last few years.”
The speculated move follows a period of rapid expansion for the retailer, which has grown its UK store footprint from 226 stores to almost 400 under Endless’s ownership.
Sales at The Works – run by chief executive Kevin Keaney – rose 9% to £154.4m in the 12 months to May last year. Underlying profit grew 37% to £12.7m.
The retailer, for which a valuation has not yet been declared, appointed Card Factory’s founder Dean Hoyle as chairman in 2015.
Earlier this year, Endless bought Jones Bootmaker out of administration for £10.5m.