Card Factory tests the water for £700m London market float

Michael Bow
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THE OWNER of UK greeting card shop Card Factory is lining up a multi-million pound float of the Wakefield-based retailer after a muted reaction from prospective buyers of the business.

Private equity owners Charterhouse appointed Goldman Sachs to explore exit options for the card company in December but is now understood to be leaning towards a flotation of the firm amid a resurgence in London’s equity markets.

The 650-chain store, which was set up in 1997 by husband and wife duo Dean and Janet Hoyle selling cards out of the back of a van, could reap a £700m windfall if a float is chosen.

Goldman is thought to be pursuing a so-called dual track process to help Charterhouse sell the firm, meaning a sale process for the company is still being pursued. Goldman is offering a £500m loan to prospective bidders to boost interest, the Sunday Times reported.

Charterhouse did not respond to a request for comment.