Sunday 4 August 2019 3:09 pm

Naked Wines hopes US float will be recipe for success after Majestic sale

Online wine retailer Naked Wines is said to be preparing for a US listing following the sale of sister company Majestic.

Chief executive Rowan Gormley has told investors he plans to list the firm on the tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange once the sale of Majestic goes through, the Sunday Times reported.

Read more: Majestic Wine sells retail arm to Fortress for £95m to focus on Naked Wines

Majestic last week announced it will sell its retail stores to US investment management firm Fortress in a £95m deal.

The mooted listing comes as Gormley looks to boost Naked’s presence in the US market and attract more US shareholders. US sales jumped 21 per cent in the last financial year to become the company’s largest division.

“He’s repositioning it because US shareholders understand the business better,” a City source told the newspaper.

Naked would become a dual-listed company, as there are no plans to delist from the London Stock Exchange, according to the report.

Majestic, which has more than 200 stores in the UK, snapped up Naked Wines in 2015 to boost its online presence, although the two firms remained independent.

Naked boasts roughly 200,000 subscribers – known as angels – who pay £20 a month for access to exclusive wines.

Gormley announced plans to sell Majestic earlier this year, saying the move would help to pay off the company’s debt and boost growth for Naked Wines. The firm is set to change its name to Naked Wines following the sale of Majestic.

Read more: Majestic Wine ‘in advanced talks’ over sale of retail arm

“Naked has the greater potential for growth, and will deliver the best results for our shareholders, customers, people and suppliers over time,” Gormley wrote in the company’s annual report.

Majestic Wine and Naked Wines have been contacted for comment.

Main image credit: Majestic