The Hong Kong owner of Superdrug and The Perfume Shop has appointed three banks to oversee a potential dual IPO of the business which could value it at £15bn.
Hong Kong-based group Hutchison Whampoa, has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC to manage a share-sale of its AS Watson business next year.
It is understood that the Asian float could be joined by a secondary listing in London, although no firm decision has been made about the UK arm.
It is estimated that a London listing of AS Watson could value the company at as much as $25bn (£15bn). But one person close to the situation said a London flotation might be more difficult due to recent listing rule changes.
AS Watson is the world’s biggest health and beauty retailer with 11,000 stores, trading across 33 countries. Superdrug operates almost 900 stores in the UK and Ireland.
Hutchison is led by Asia’s wealthiest man Li Ka-shing.
A Hutchison spokesman could not be reached for comment.