Gymshark founder Ben Francis and the brand’s private equity backers have started talks with banks and investors in advance of a potential IPO.

The sportswear giant is in discussion with institutional investors and investment banks over a potential float on the London Stock Exchange, just over a year after the brand hit a £1bn valuation, according to Sky News. 

Although any potential IPO is still in the discussion stages, a source told Sky that an announcement could be revealed in the coming months, with little idea of the size of any flotation. 

Last year, the brand sold a 21% stake to US fund manager General Atlantic for £200m, while Francis still holds a 70% stake in the business.

The retailer has benefited hugely from the explosion in athleisurewear sales, with sales rising more than 50% to more than £400m since the start of the pandemic. 

Francis founded the brand in 2012 as a teenager and returned to the role of chief executive in July. He replaced Steve Hewitt who had held the position since 2017. Hewitt has stepped into the role of executive president focusing on scaling the business commercially.

Gymshark, which has gained popularity with millennial and Generation Z consumers, actively uses social media, boasting 3.3 million followers on TikTok and 5.4 million on Instagram. It sells to over 130 countries globally. 

A Gymshark spokesman said: “We regularly speak to financial institutions to ensure we are connected to the business world and we continue to learn.

“Any recent conversations we have had have been about introducing these organisations to Gymshark and our journey so far.”

A spokesperson for General Atlantic said: ”We are working with Ben and the team to build Gymshark into the global leader we know it can be.”