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German E-Commerce Retailer About You, Holders Seek $1.1 Billion in IPO

German About You e-tailer. Shutterstock.
German About You e-commerce retailer. Shutterstock.

E-commerce fashion retailer About You AG and its shareholders are seeking as much as €941 million ($1.1 billion) in a Frankfurt initial public offering, betting that demand for its party outfits will ramp up as nightlife unlocks.

Shares are being marketed at €21 to €26 apiece through June 14, with the new stock set to start trading on June 16, it said in a statement Tuesday.

About You, which aims to digitise the classic stroll around a mall by creating a personalised shopping experience on smartphones, specialises in catering to young women in their 20s and 30s. It operates in a crowded field, competing with the vast clothing collections carried by Asos Plc and Zalando SE.

The company plans to sell 28.6 million shares to raise at least €600 million, while management and holders including GFH are looking to offload as many as 8.4 million of shares.

Unlike other e-commerce companies, About You’s business suffered during the pandemic as sales of the eveningwear it stocks declined. Now, easing lockdown restrictions in Europe mean it is well-placed to benefit from online shoppers looking for party and date-night outfits.

Aside from its retail operations, About You has an online e-commerce tech platform akin to Shopify Inc.’s, which counts brands such as Marco Polo as clients. Shareholder Heartland, the holding company for fashion tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen and his family, owns stakes in Asos and Zalando.

The IPO comes several months after online shopping emporium THG Plc listed in London with a similar model. THG’s Ingenuity business helps other retailers run their digital offerings, while it also runs websites marketing everything from protein powders to beauty products.

About You is also backed by Michael Otto’s e-commerce behemoth Otto Group, which got its start in post-World War II Germany as a mail-order company famous for its fashion catalogs.

Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global coordinators, while Numis Securities Ltd., Societe Generale SA and UBS Group AG are joint bookrunners.

By Swetha Gopinath

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