THE COMPANY behind Bargain Booze announced plans yesterday to launch on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) as the north west-based off-licence chain looks to target thirsty shoppers in the south of England.
Conviviality Retail, which also trades as Bargain Booze Plus, Select Convenience and Thorougoods, said it hopes to raise £60m to £65m through a placing on the junior market at end of July.
Its private-equity backer ECI, which acquired the business through a £63.5m management buyout in 2006, stands to make about three times its investment through the flotation, which will also leave the company debt-free.
The chain’s chief executive Diana Hunter, who joined from Waitrose in 2011, plans to push into the south east and tap into the growing demand among cash-conscious shoppers for bargains.
“I see a great opportunity to grow this business through uniting and aligning the franchisees with the company, a most powerful force in generating optimal performance,” she said.
The group runs 611 franchised convenience stores selling everything from alcohol to groceries and tobacco. It believes that its two warehouses could service around 2,000 stores.
Sales in the year to 30 April fell to £372m from £395m the previous year while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell four per cent to £12.5m.
Zeus Capital is acting as nominated adviser to Conviviality Retail on its listing and will serve as joint-broker going forward. John Goold, who was appointed joint chief executive of the boutique investment bank three months ago, is advising the Bargain Booze owner is acting as lead adviser on the IPO.
Originally from an accounting and corporate finance background, Goold co-founded the stockbroking firm Arden Partners in 2002 and left his position there as head of equities in March last year. Commenting on the placing Goold said fundraising was well received and the book was twice over subscribed, with 30 institutions participating.