September 9, 2015 / 8:58 AM / in 3 years

French e-retailer eyes IPO in 2015

PARIS, Sept 9 (Reuters) - French online fashion retailer said it plans to list on the stock exchange this year in order to speed up its expansion.

The initial public offering could include a capital increase of 50 million euros ($55.9 million) and the sale of existing shares in a transaction worth 200 million euros overall, said.

Founded in 2006, sells designer fashion to its 20.2 million members at steep discounts in flash sales, a model pioneered by larger French rival

“This operation will give us more visibility and access to liquidity and to internal and external growth opportunities,” co-Founder Thierry Petit told a conference call.

Petit and fellow co-Founder David Dayan, who own 60 percent of the capital, will keep a majority stake, while U.S. investment fund Accel Partners will sell most of its 30 percent shareholding. generated 2014 sales of 350 million euros and gross operating profit of 16 million. It has recorded annual sales growth of 30 percent over the last three years, driven by expansion abroad.

Already present in seven European countries, notably Portugal and Italy, it has plans soon to expand to Germany.

In March, a private placement of 10 percent of the group’s capital with Middle East investors valued the company at 625 million euros.

The company filed documents with France’s market watchdog on Wednesday in a first step toward the public offering. The group aims to list between the end of October and early November on the French stock market. ($1 = 0.8947 euros) (Reporting by Pascale Denis Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)

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