The Very Group revives £4bn IPO plans

The Very Group

The Very Group called off an IPO last year due to stock market volatility

// The Very Group owners, the Barclay family, is targeting floating the business in mid-2023
// The online retail group had been gearing up to an IPO last year but called off plans amid growing volatility over tech stock

The Very Group owner, the Barclay family, is again looking to float the ecommerce group after calling off their plan for a £4billion IPO last year due to a volatile market.

The retailer has offered incentives to senior leaders at the firm for pulling off a flotation, which the Barclays now hope to get underway in mid-2023, according to The Sunday Times.

The Barclays put the brakes on floating The Very Group, which is one of the UK’s largest online retailers, last year over growing concerns around tech company valuations, which have only worsened since the onset of the war in Ukraine and soaring inflation.

Online businesses such as Ocado, Ao.com, The Hut Group and Boohoo have seen their share prices plummet since the turn of the year, which calls into question whether The Very Group can attain the mooted £4 billion valuation.

In preparation for an IPO, the group refinanced £550 million of debt last year and appointed former Walmart executive Dirk Van den Berghe as chairman in January

It had lined up bankers at Barclays, Morgan Stanley and UBS to lead the float.

In its last financial year to July 31, 2021, The Very Group, which is led by Henry Birch, posted an almost 70% rise in pre-tax profits to £81.7 million, while group sales hit record levels of £2.3 billion.

The retailer had emerged as a winner throughout the pandemic when shoppers increasingly went online.

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