Oct 23 Women's apparel and accessories retailer
Charlotte Russe Inc, owned by private equity firm Advent
International Corp, is speaking to banks about an initial public
offering that may come next year, two people familiar with the
matter said this week.
Favorable market conditions have driven buyout firms to cash
in on some of their better-performing retail investments, such
as Leonard Green & Partners LP's Container Store, which is also
on track for an IPO, and Bain Capital LLC's Burlington Stores
Inc, which went public this month and whose shares
jumped about 50 percent on their first day of trading.
Buoyed by a more optimistic economic outlook, retail stocks
have outperformed the broader market so far this year, with the
Standard & Poor's Retail Index up 32 percent compared
with a 23 percent rise in the S&P 500 Index.
The sources asked not to be identified as disclosing private
discussions about the IPO. Advent International declined to
comment, while Charlotte Russe representatives did not respond
to a request for comment.
San Francisco-based Charlotte Russe is a mall-based chain
with more than 500 stores across the United States. It operates
in the so-called fast fashion industry, which markets trendy
clothes that are manufactured cheaply and quickly, and competes
with retailers such Forever 21 and H&M.
Advent took Charlotte Russe private for $380 million in
2009. Since then the retailer's earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortization have more than doubled to just
under $70 million on the back of seven straight quarters of
positive comparable-store sales, according to Thomson Reuters
Loan Pricing Corp.
The retailer has annual sales of about $856 million,
according to Moody's Investors Service Inc.
Charlotte Russe President Jenny Ming, the former head of Gap
Inc brand Old Navy, is largely credited with helping to
turn around the once-struggling brand.
Advent has invested in several other retail companies,
including Five Below Inc, Party City and Lululemon