Hotel Chocolat plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2016, looking to raise £50m in the process.
Joint founders and co-owners Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris will release some of their equity, as well as the issuance of new shares, creating proceeds that will be used to "accelerate the group's growth strategy", which includes rolling out additional "proven" store formats, investing in the retailer's UK manufacturing capacity and improving its digital services. In summer, Hotel Chocolat will launching a new website and develop its mobile and tablet offerings.
"Hotel Chocolat is built on our core values of authenticity, originality and ethical trading," said Thirlwell. "We are very excited at the prospect of listing as it is the next logical step in our growth plans and will enable us to accelerate the many initiatives that we have in place, in particular additional investment in our British chocolate manufacturing, in new stores and in our digital offering."
The upmarket chocolate specialist currently trades from 84 stores in the UK and internationally.