RETAIL tycoon Sir Philip Green is set to make a return to the stock market for the first time in 22 years after Australian flash sales site Mysale confirmed its intention to float yesterday, with a value of more than £300m.
The Topshop owner has bought a 25 per cent stake in Mysale for £47m through Shelton Capital, a non-UK registered vehicle owned by his wife Lady Cristina Green.
He told City A.M.: “I think it’s an interesting space. It has done a good job in Australia and has been able to attract 10m members in a market of that size. It’s got all the infrastructure and warehousing and I thought it was an interesting opportunity.”
Green said that his role in the business was as an investor and that he will not be involved in the running of the company but would be there “to offer help” if needed.
Mysale, which has over 10.5m members in six countries, is planning to raise £40m through new share sales when its floats on Aim next month.
It will launch its UK website in the next two weeks and plans to invest the proceeds into its online platform, its warehousing as well as making further bolt-on acquisitions.
Earlier this week the group bought the UK luxury flash sales site Cososa from former Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed, which chief executive Jamie Jackson said will feature as a separate site within the main Mysale website.
Jackson, who set up the business in 2006 with his brother Carl, dismissed concerns that investor appetite for new issues was cooling.
“Whether we had floated three months ago or now, this doesn’t change that we are a very profitable business,” he said.
“We are a strong and established business and we have been very focused on bringing the company to market.”
Mysale plan to open offices in the UK and has opened a distribution centre in Corby employing 100 people.
It also launched a US website earlier this month. The group generated £102m of revenues last year.
PROFILE: SIR PHILIP GREEN
SIR PHILIP Green was in a typically ebullient mood when announcing his return to the stock market yesterday after an absence of 22 years.
His last foray on the London Stock Exchange – he was CEO of Amber Day, a listed discount retailer – was not a success and he left after a profit warning in 1992; but that was a long time ago. He has since made his name as one of Britain’s most successful retailers, building a profitable, privately-owned empire in the shape of Arcadia, which employs 44,000 people and owns brands such as BHS, Evans, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Burton Menswear.
The entrepreneur will therefore bring undoubted credibility to Mysale – still a relatively unknown business in the UK – as well as contacts and expertise in the sector.
As Mysale founder Jamie Jackson said: “[Green] is the global leader in retail. He is a phenomenal person and I have learnt every day on how we can grow this business.”
The deal will also see his clothing empire Arcadia provide Mysale with excess merchandise from brands including Miss Selfridge but excluding Topshop.
While having made a significant investment in the business, Green will not have a seat on the board and will leave the running of the business to its founders.
Green’s last major deal before Mysale was selling a 25 per cent stake in his Topshop business to a US private equity firm, Leonard Green, which has helped speed up its expansion in the US.
His holding in Asia and Australia’s biggest flash sales site now positions Green in all four corners of the world.
BEHIND THE DEAL
ZEUS CAPITAL | JOHN GOOLD
1 As joint chief executive of Zeus, John Goold has overseen seven IPOs in the last 10 months including DX Group and Boohoo.
2 Goold joined Zeus in 2012 as head of equities before being appointed joint chief executive last year. He was previously head of equities at Arden Partners, which he co-founded in 2002.
3 When not in the office or spending time with his young family, Goold can be found at weekends on the riverbanks with a fishing rod in his hand.
Macquarie Capital has been a long-standing adviser to Mysale in Australia and its European team, led by managing director Steve Baldwin, is acting as nominated adviser, joint broker and joint bookrunner. Maitland, led by chief executive Neil Bennett, is acting as Mysale’s financial PR adviser.