Discount high street retailer The Works began trading on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday (19th July) with an offer price of 160p.
The chain hopes to raise £65.2 million, of which £28.5 million is for the business and £36.7 million is for the selling shareholders, according to Retail Gazette. The £100m float by the 447-store chain was announced last week and will help to repay debt and provide an exit for its private equity backer, Endless.
Chairman Dean Hoyle, who owns Huddersfield Town FC and founded the Card Factory, is set to make £1m by selling shares. Already worth £350m, he will reportedly also retain a 14% stake worth a further £14m at the float price.
Endless, the private equity firm which owns the chain, is selling shares worth £30m and intends to retain a 10% stake worth £10m. The venture capitalist firm, which also has a stake in The Book People, bought a majority stake in The Works three years ago.
The flotation follows the company’s record-breaking Christmas trading performance, with total sales up 15% in the 12 weeks to 24th December. Like-for-like sales at the retailer meanwhile were up 6.3% in the 12 weeks to 24th December 2017, while e-commerce sales were up 37% like-for-like, accounting for 10% of the total turnover for the quarter.