Retail news round-up on May 12, 2014: Wiggle seeking a possible IPO, Sainsbury’s Justin King sells shares, Co-op to reduce stake in Co-op to 20%, Sir Philip Green enters pure play market and Mamas and Papas founders in talks to sell
Wiggle working with advisers on potential stock market flotation
Online cycling retailer Wiggle is working with advisers at boutique investment bank Rothschild on a possible initial public offering (IPO), The Telegraph reported. Private equity group Bridgepoint-owned company is understood to be considering options for the business. A Bridgepoint spokesman said no advisers had yet been mandated for a flotation, but Rothschild has been a longtime adviser to the company. Two sources familiar with the situation said that Wiggle was mulling a stock market listing, with one adding it would be ‘mad not to’ given the current multiples that are available in IPOs to companies with an online presence.
Justin King offloads Sainsbury’s shares worth more than £1m
J Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has sold 319,919 shares at £3.28, worth £1.05m, in supermarket retailer ahead of his departure in July, The Telegraph reported. King is set to leave the grocer in July. He is understood to have sold the shares for personal reasons.The sale represents roughly a quarter of King’s stake in Sainsbury’s and comes amid pressure on the retailer from shortsellers, who are betting heavily that the company’s shares will fall.
Co-op Group’s stake in Co-op Bank set to reduce further to 20%
The Co-op Group is to see its stake in the struggling banking arm cut to around 20%, according to Sky News sources. The parent group currently has a 30% stake. Sky News said that if the Co-op Group’s holding in the bank falls below a fifth, it may affect the lender’s use of the Co-op name. Some £400m is to be raised through the issue of 200m new ordinary shares, if approved by shareholders. Four major shareholders have agreed to take 31% of the new shares.
Sir Philip Green takes 25% stake in online retailer MySale
Arcadia head Sir Philip Green has bought a 25% stake in Australian fashion sales site MySale, thereby making his first big entry into a pure online retailer, the Financial Times reported. The billionaire entrepreneur made the investment last week for an undisclosed sum as the Australian firm announced plans to relocate its headquarters to the UK to help expand its supply chain. Sir Philip has also inked a merchandising agreement with MySale to supply the company with excess inventory in fashion and homeware from his high-street empire, which includes BHS, Miss Selfridge, Wallis and Topshop.
Founders of Mamas & Papas in talks to sell stake
Mamas & Papas founder duo David and Luisa Scacchetti are in talks to offload a stake in the upmarket prams and maternity wear chain for the first time, The Sunday Times reported. Discussions are underway with several private investors. The pair have tapped KPMG to oversee the negotiations and advise the retailer.