// Monnpig confirms it is pressing ahead with £1.2bn IPO plans
// At least 25% of its share capital would be made available for trading in the IPO
// BlackRock & Dragoneer have already signed up for £130m worth of shares in Moonpig when it lists
Moonpig has announced that it is going ahead with its stock market debut valuing the online retailer at up to £1.2 billion
Following the initial announcement last week regarding the publication of a registration document, Moonpig today confirmed its intention to proceed with as well as further details of its initial public offering (IPO).
The firm said at least 25 percent of its share capital would be made available for trading in the IPO, which is set to take place next month.
It added that the final offer price in respect of the IPO would be determined following a book-building process.
However, investment firms BlackRock and Dragoneer have already signed up for £130 million worth of shares in Moonpig when it lists, at £80 million and £50 million respectively.
Moonpig – backed by Exponent Private Equity Partners, which owns a 41.3 per cent stake – said last week that it was considering the move as it looks to expand and capitalise on the surge in demand for online cards and gifts amid the pandemic.
It comes amid a rush of IPOs as retailers look to take advantage of stock market optimism over vaccines, with footwear retailer Dr Martens also revealing plans for a possible £3 billion flotation earlier this month.
“As leaders of a market undergoing an accelerating shift online, we’re delighted to bring Moonpig Group to the public market,” Moonpig chief executive Nickyl Raithatha said.
“Our data-powered technology platform makes it incredibly easy for our customers to create more special moments for the people they care about.
“As the market-leading platform, with a strong track record, and a huge opportunity to grow, we are confident about our decision to become a publicly traded business.”
Moonpig chairwoman and former WHSmith boss Kate Swann is helping oversee the listing as the retailer seeks to tap further into a cards and gifts market which is worth £24 billion across the UK, the Netherlands and Ireland, and is rapidly switching online.
Moonpig said only around 10 per cent of card purchases were made online in 2019, which is forecast to double to 20 per cent by 2021.
The ecommerce firm already has 12.2 million customers and sends 46 million cards a year but is trying to position itself as a technology business, using customer data and predictive technology.
Bosses hope harvesting customer data will help remind them of birthdays and cash in on additional gifts.
The firm said the sale of gifts alongside cards – such as flowers, wine and chocolates – is “critical” to the group and is now almost half of the business.
It claims to be among the top five largest florists in the UK, sending out more than 200,000 bouquets of flowers for Mother’s Day.
The IPO comes in the same month that rival Paperchase said it was looking at bringing in administrators due to plunging sales, putting 1500 jobs at risk.
Moonpig by comparison has benefited from the lockdown, with families and friends turning to gifts and cards to help get through long periods without contact.
The retailer has a 60 per cent share of the online cards market in the UK and a 65 per cent share in the Netherlands, where it trades as Greetz.
It made underlying earnings of £44.4 million in the year to April 30 on sales of £173.1 million, up 44 per cent year-on-year.
In the half-year to October 31, it saw sales jump 135 per cent to £155.9 million.
With the proceeds from the float, it aims to invest further in technology and staff, having hired 50 people during lockdown.
Moonpig, which launched 20 years ago, has a team of more than 400 staff across the UK and Netherlands, with an office in London, a technology hub in Manchester and factory in Guernsey.
with PA Wires