Mountain Warehouse could be gearing up for IPO


Mountain Warehouse is considering a flotation valued at £200m, following the hire of investment bank Rothschild to explore options.

The outdoor goods retailer trades from 191 stores in Britain and has also expanded internationally over the last three years, opening 37 stores in Germany, Poland, the US and Canada.

The business has had several private equity owners but in 2013 management regained full control, buying out the private-equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group for £85m. Founder Mark Neale owns around 85% of the business, the rest is owned by other members of the management team.
While rivals such as Blacks and Millets have faced pressure over the last few years, Mountain Warehouse has thrived due to increasing consumer interest in pursuits such as cycling and running.

Over Christmas for example, sales grew 28.6% in the six weeks to 3 January. International sales now account for 20% of the business while e-commerce sales leaped 49%.

The group is aiming to increase the UK store count to 300 stores, which would be funded by a stock market listing.

Rothschild is one of the world‘s largest independent financial advisory groups and was the sole financial advisor for Alibaba‘s IPO: the world‘s biggest. It has also advised retailers from Phase Eight and Joules to B&M.