Liberty of London to float in 3 years

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Liberty, the luxury department store that set up shop on London’s Regent Street in 1875, could be going public.

Private equity firm BlueGem, which bought Liberty for £32m in 2010, is seeing a noticeable turnaround following five years of revamping the British brand. Prior to the acquisition, Liberty was in decline and lacking investment.

In the year to February 2014, the retailer made a pre-tax profit of £12.4m and footfall rose by 5% to 4.5m.

Turnover is expected to be £145m this year, up from £132m in the whole of 2014, said Marco Capello, Chief Executive of BlueGem.

“The company was losing money for many years in a row and was not in a good shape,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to float the company. It’s one of the great British brands and we have no intention of selling it.”

In its efforts to overhaul the Liberty brand, BlueGem focused on Liberty’s own brand, as well as spending £600m on improving its IT systems.

BlueGem also owns upmarket mother and baby retailer Mamas & Papas and is allegedly eyeing up British menswear retailer Ben Sherman.

 

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