LONDON, United Kingdom — British online fashion retailer boohoo.com will list on London's AIM market next week with a market capitalization of 560 million pounds ($936 million) after tapping into current investor appetite for internet retail stocks.
The Manchester, northern England, based firm, majority owned by its founders, the Kamani family, said on Friday it had placed 600 million shares at 50 pence, raising 300 million pounds and giving the implied market value for the company. Boohoo's larger rival, ASOS, also listed on London's junior market AIM, has a market capitalization of 5.6 billion pounds - a value that would place it in the FTSE 100 index were it to shift to the main stock market.
About 55 percent of boohoo's enlarged issued share capital would be freely tradable post flotation.
Boohoo designs, sources, markets and sells own brand clothing, shoes and accessories through its website to a core market of 16-24 year-old consumers in the UK and globally.
Its sales rose 70 percent to 91.9 million pounds in the 10 months to December 2013, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 188 percent to 10.1 million pounds.
Of the placing proceeds 240 million pounds will be used to repay convertible loan notes held by the company's existing shareholders, while 50 million pounds will be used to accelerate the firm's expansion and enhance working capital.
Following the listing the Kamanis' holding will fall from 82 percent to 38.5 percent, with joint chief executive Mahmud Kamani owning 24.5 percent.
His fellow joint CEO Carol Kane will see her holding reduce to 4.6 percent from 9.8 percent.
Trading in boohoo shares will start on March 14.
Its float follows last month's listing of AO World, the online domestic appliances retailer, which saw a surge in its share price above its offer level on debut.
Several other British retailers are seeking listings on the back of the country's gradually improving economy.
Convenience store McColl's has already listed, while Poundland and Pets at Home have set price ranges.
Fat Face, B&M and House of Fraser are amongst other store groups expected to come to market.
Last month boohoo bolstered its board, recruiting Peter Williams, a former non-executive director of ASOS, to become its non-executive chairman.
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Neil Maidment and Jane Merriman)