Retail news round-up November 25, 2013: Poundland begins stock market flotation process, Edinburgh Woollen Mill eyes expansion, Arnotts loan bidding enters final round and Musgrave mulls banking move.

Poundland kicks off £800m stock market float

Discount retailer Poundland has initiated the process of stock market flotation in the early part of 2014 with a valuation of up to £800m, The Telegraph reported. It is understood that private equity owner of Poundland, Warburg Pincus, is looking to raise between £200m and £300m from the IPO, which would value the retailer at between £700m and £800m.

The capital secured will be utilised to finance significant expansion in its store estate. This week, the firm is expected to send out letters of engagement to the advisers leading the float – Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Rothschild, and Shore Capital.24 November 2013

Edinburgh Woollen Mill plans 100 more store openings in next 18 months

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group is planning to open 100 more stores outlets over the next 18 months, including new Peacocks stores. The move will also create over 1,100 new jobs.

The retailer is also mulling opportunities to expand into Germany, Russia, and the Middle East. Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group owns the Edinburgh Woollen Mill brand, as well as Ponden Home and Peacocks.

Arnotts loan bidding enters final round

Arnotts and its British partner who is a financial investor with both retail and non-retail interests are through to the final bidding round as it fights to buy back its €230m Anglo loans, The Irish Independent reported.

It is understood that its partner is neither a private equity house nor a branded retailer. The department store business’ other creditor, Ulster Bank, is now looking at putting its €140m Arnotts loans for sale following the interest in the loan sale. There are thought to be four final bidders on the shortlist, of which Arnotts and its partner, sourced through Investec, is one. Other names in the frame include Selfridges and the Brown Thomas-owning Weston family and House of Fraser’s owner.

Musgrave plots entry into banking sector

Musgrave is planning an entry into the banking sector with the creation of a potential ‘third force’ in banking in Ireland. The Sunday Independent reported that Musgrave has been exploring plans to use its near 680 SuperValu, Superquinn and Centra outlets around the country as a ready-made distribution network for a broad array of financial products, ranging from debit cards, loans, insurance and credit cards.

Sources close to the retailer described the plans as ‘in their infancy’. According to a source, the retailer is hiring a several key executives to ‘help shape the plans’. The Budgens and Londis owner could launch the Irish banking services in late summer 2014.