Footasylum files for IPO, names new chairman
Sports shoe and clothing retailer Footasylum has confirmed its float plans with the company saying Monday that it will list its shares on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
That’s the same index that also houses Asos, Boohoo, Quiz Clothing and Koovs and dealing in FootAsylum shares should start there next month. The company didn’t say at what price the shares would be sold, nor how much money it aims to raise, but reports a few weeks ago suggested a listing would value the chain at around £150 million.
FootAsylum, which targets the 16-24 year-old shopper with on-trend sports product, has 60 stores on high streets, in malls and retail parks and likes to offer a mix of the biggest brand names with up-and-coming labels that make it more than yet another ‘me-too’ athleisure chain. It’s also got a fast-growing e-tail arm (accounting for 29% of total sales already) and recently launched into wholesale to distribute its own brand ranges.
It still sees major growth potential and management thinks it could reach at least 150 UK stores. Over the medium term, the retailer is targeting between eight and 10 openings a year, which means it shod reach 150 within a decade.
But that significant portion of its sales that go through digital channels also means that in the next three years, the company plans to invest more heavily in digital too.
On Monday it said the net proceeds from the placing receivable by the company will be used, along with existing cash resources and debt facilities, “to facilitate this growth investment.”
It also said that Barry Bown has committed to join the board as Executive Chairman on or around 1 June 2018, when John Wardle will retire from the role. Brown has over 30 years' retail experience, most of which was gained at JD Sports, which he joined in 1984 and where he was CEO from 2000 to 2014.
Footasylum CEO Clare Nesbitt said of the share placing news: This is a logical next step in Footasylum's upward trajectory as we seek to build on our exciting product-led, multi-channel expansion strategy. We pride ourselves on being a dynamic, adaptive and fast-moving business with a strong competitive position, a great stable of third party and own brands, and a disciplined approach to delivering sustainable growth. We see substantial opportunities ahead across our retail, online and wholesales channels, and believe that we have the people, products and strategy to realise them."
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