Watches of Switzerland confirms IPO plan
today May 9, 2019
Watches of Switzerland is ploughing ahead with plans for a £600m-plus stock market flotation.
The luxury watch group confirmed on Thursday its intention to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO), and will apply for admission to the premium segment of the London market.
The listing could value the retail group owned by American private equity firm Apollo Global Management at up to £800m.
Watches of Switzerland announced last week it was looking at raising approximately £155m to slash its debt, support its growth strategy and elevate the group’s profile. The largest watch retailer in the UK has also operations in the US, and has recently expanded there with the opening of two new boutiques in New York and Las Vegas.
The final offer price will be determined following book-building process, and admission is expected to occur in early June.
Brian Duffy, CEO, commented: “I am very pleased to confirm our intention to float Watches of Switzerland Group on the London Stock Exchange. Our transformation is complete, the group is now the UK's leading luxury watch retailer and has successfully entered the significant, but underdeveloped US market. I am very excited for what lies ahead and the opportunity to take our growth strategy to the public markets.”
In the year to April 2019, the group posted revenues of £773 million, with by sales of Rolex, Tag Heuer and Omega watches helping it grow 22.5% on the previous year. The UK market experienced an 10% increase in sales on a like-for-like basis while the US - where Watches of Switzerland has 21 stores - grew 7.1% on a like-for-like.
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