3i prepares for IPO or sale of lighting retailer Luqom, sources say

FRANKFURT, March 10 (Reuters) - British buyout group 3i is poised to launch a stock market listing or sale of its German lighting retailer Luqom in a deal that could value the business at up to 700 million euros ($834 million), people close to the matter told Reuters.

Banks are expected to be appointed soon by 3i to manage a deal for the company known for its Lampenwelt brand, with the process starting as early as this summer, the sources said.

3i declined to comment.

Luqom last year posted sales of more than 200 million euros, the bulk of which were from outside Germany, and is expected to post core earnings of about 35 million euros this year.

It could be valued at 15-20 times earnings, amounting to between 525 million and 700 million euros, the sources said.

3i invested 120 million euros in Luqom in 2017, when it also gave the company a 54 million shahreholder loan. It has since helped the company to expand in Europe.

Luqom was founded in 1999 by Thomas und Andreas Rebmann. Working from their garage they started selling lamps via the internet under the Lampenwelt brand from 2004. ($1 = 0.8397 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze Editing by David Goodman)