Shoe Zone putting its best foot forward with a £50m stock float

Kasmira Jefford
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DISCOUNT footwear chain Shoe Zone has become the latest retailer queuing up to float on the London Stock Exchange this year.

The family-run chain, which runs 554 stores in the UK and Ireland, is looking to raise up to £50m in an initial public offering (IPO) on London’s Alternative Investment Market next month that is expected to value the firm at about £100m.

The chain, which sells over 20m shoes a year, said it would list between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of its share capital. Numis is acting as its adviser and broker.

Its IPO will be the latest in a string of discount retail listings since the start of the year following in the steps of bargain chain Poundland, convenience store group McColl’s and, the discount clothing chain.

Shoe Zone’s owners, the Smith family, bought the Leicester-based retailer in 1980 when its was known as Benson Shoe. It is run by chief executive Anthony Smith, 46, and his brother Charles Smith, 48, the chief operating officer.

In the year ended to 5 October, the group generated revenues of £193.9m and a profit before tax of £9.3m, up from £5.6m the previous year. Shoe Zone had net cash of £6.6m with no debt.

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