UK's Card Factory plans London listing

Tuesday 22 April 2014 10.01
Card Factory set to list its shares on London's stock market in May
Card Factory set to list its shares on London's stock market in May

British greeting cards retailer Card Factory plans to list its shares on London's stock market in May, joining a spate of store groups seeking flotations as the outlook for consumer spending improves.

The over 700 stores firm is majority owned by private equity group Charterhouse Capital Partners.

It said today it expected to raise £90m from an offer of new and existing shares to institutional investors.

Card Factory, which focuses on the value and mid-market segments of Britain's £3 billion a year greeting cards market, said at least 25% of its issued share capital would be freely tradable post flotation.

The firm said it sold over 285 million single cards in the year to the end of January this year.

In that year, revenue grew 9% to £326.9m, while underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 9.2% to £80.4m.

Card Factory, which has opened about 50 stores a year for the past ten years, expects that rate to continue and has a target of 1,200 stores in Britain and Ireland.

The firm said Geoff Cooper, the former chief executive of Travis Perkins and current chairman of Dunelm, would chair the business.

It intends to use all of the net proceeds from the share offer to reduce net debt, expected to be about £160m on admission.

UK retailers, including discount retailer Poundland, newsagent McColl's, petshop chain Pets at Home and online fashion retailer Boohoo.com, have already listed in 2014.