Jeweller Aurum plans float, could value it at £600m
The company behind some of the biggest watch and jewellery names in the UK is reported to be gearing up for a stock market listing and is believed to have spoken to investment banks in recent weeks with plans to list either in London or Zurich during 2019.
Aurum Holdings, which is controlled by Apollo Global Management, owns the Goldsmiths chain, as well as Watches of Switzerland and Mappin & Webb, and accounts for a little under half of all UK Rolex sales.
Sky News reported that a float could value it at £600 million, although the plans could also bring potential bidders out into the open.
Aurum would be likely to generate significant interest given that it’s the leading multi-channel retailer of luxury watches in the UK, having a 36.4% value market share last year. Interest is also likely to have risen since the company turned in its last set of results which showed business is improving.
The firm is run by former Ralph Lauren executive Brian Duffy and also has significant US interests following its purchase of Mayors Jewelers for just over $100m last autumn.
As mentioned, the company has seen improving fortunes in recent periods and benefited from the UK's EU referendum result as the pound plunged and luxury tourists found UK visits much cheaper.
As well as its physical stores, Aurum is also a major player online via the giant WatchShop site, which had a one-third share of the UK online watches market.
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