Watches of Switzerland eyes IPO after sales uptick

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Watches of Switzerland IPO
// Watches of Switzerland eyes premium stock market listing
// The company offered Barclays and Goldman Sachs to act as joint global coordinators
// Year-on-year group revenue increased by 22.5% to £773m, boosted by 9.2% uplift in like-for-likes

Watches of Switzerland has said it would consider a possible stock market float in a bid to bolster its growth, following a sales increase in fourth quarter results.

If the IPO proceeds, it will include new shares issued by Watches of Switzerland and existing shares to be sold from existing shareholders including Apollo Global Management.

The British luxury jewellery retailer has offered Barclays and Goldman Sachs to act as joint global coordinators, book runners and sponsors.

BNP Paribas and Investec Bank will act as joint book runners if the deal is proceeded, while the company’s financial adviser for the process will be Rothschild.

The news follows the retailer’s annual results for the 52 weeks to the end of April 2019.

Year-on-year group revenue increased by 22.5 per cent to £773 million, strengthened by the 9.2 per cent uplift in like-for-like sales.

Should the IPO proceed, Watches of Switzerland will use the investment to reduce debt, expand its presence, and maintain staff retention.

Meanwhile, the retailer has plans to launch the IPO with at least 25 per cent of its issued share capital.

“Today’s announcement signals the next stage in that journey, leveraging our scale, retail and ecommerce expertise, and strong stakeholder relationships to continue our profitable growth strategy,” Watches of Switzerland chief executive Brian Duffy said.

“There are significant growth opportunities ahead of us, both in the UK and the US, many of which are already being realised.

“We have a proven track record, an experienced management team and strong brand support for our plans.”

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