Friday, November 24, 2017

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.