Spanish retail group Cortefiel reportedly preparing stock market return

Fashion retail group Cortefiel is reportedly preparing its return on the Spanish stock market. The Madrid-based group, operating in 80 countries with nearly 2,000 stores (of which 1,200 are directly owned), has commissioned three investment banks to work on the operation, according to French financial paper L’Expansion: Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Nomura. The flotation is planned for the second half of 2018.


A recently opened Springfield store in Bangalore, India - Cortefiel

The Cortefiel group was previously listed on the Madrid stock exchange between 1994 and 2005, when the fashion retailer was acquired by investment firms PAI Partners, CVC and Permira.

Last July, PAI Partners and CVC struck a deal with Permira to buy from the fund the stake it held of the Cortefiel group (33% of the capital). As a result, PAI Partners and CVC each hold a 50% share.

In 2016, the three investment firms decided to call off a project for Cortefiel's stock market return, owing to the uncertainty prevailing on international financial markets, and to Spain's precarious political situation. The group's two current owners seem to have reconsidered and to be ready to go ahead with the operation, having restructured the group's retail organisation and initiated several expansion projects.  

Cortefiel, owner of the Cortefiel, Springfield, Women's Secret, Pedro del Hierro and Fifty Factory retail chains, is now busy deploying an international expansion strategy, operating both directly and with franchise partners on major export markets. For example, the group wants to multiply by four the number of stores operated by its lingerie chain Women's Secret in France by 2021, and to add another ten stores in Russia this year. 

The Cortefiel group's recent results are encouraging. In the 2016-17 financial year, closed on 28th February 2017, the Spanish group's debt fell from €900 million to €556 million, and sales increased by 3.1%, to €1.13 billion. In the first nine months of the current financial year, the Cortefiel group's revenue rose 4% - with e-commerce revenue increasing by 33.4% - and EBITDA was up 81%, reaching €110.9 million.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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