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Very Group lines up bankers to spearhead its £4bn IPO

Lauretta Roberts
13 August 2021

The Barclay family, owners of online retail giant The Very Group, are reported to have lined up bankers at Barclays, Morgan Stanley and UBS to spearhead its £4bn IPO.

A float of the group, which operates the and and e-commerce businesses, is likely to take place next year, according to Sky News.

Earlier this week, The Very Group launched raised £575m by issuing senior secured notes due in 2026, which will be used to refinance and extend existing debt and last month the business appointed SJT Advisers to help prepare it for a future float.

Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay acquired The Very Group (formerly known as Shop Direct Group) 20 years ago but the death of Sir David earlier this year is said to have led to a reappraisal of the family's business empire.

Should the float of the £2bn-turnover group go ahead, it will be the first time the family has floated one of its assets. The family are the proprietors of The Daily Telegraph and the former owners of the Ritz Hotel.

How much of the business will be floated and how much the family will retain under their ownership has yet to be revealed and is expected to be a key consideration for potential investors.

The Very Group is run by CEO Henry Birch who joined the business from Rank Group in 2018, replacing Alex Baldock who left to join Carphone Warehouse.

It would join a growing list of fashion and retail business to float in recent months as they look to capitalise on pent-up investment cash that went un-spent during the pandemic. Dr Marten's, online beauty group THG, fast fashion retailer In The Style and maternitywear retailer Seraphine have all listed this year.

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