Very Group back on track for £4bn IPO
The Very Group is expected to be floated on the London Stock Exchange in mid-2023, after the owners called off the plans for a £4bn IPO last year due to volatile market conditions.
The Barclay family are keen to get sidelined plans for a £4bn float back on track, according to a report in The Times.
Very Group owns e-commerce brands including fashion retailer Very and homeware and clothing seller Littlewoods.
It is hoped a public listing would be achieved by the middle of next year, according to the newspaper’s reports.
The Barclays originally mooted floating The Very Group last year after the pandemic saw the company’s sales skyrocket, with pre-tax profits to the end of July 2021 jumping by 70% to £81.7m, while revenues for the same period rose by 13% to £2.3billion.
Concerns over historic levels of inflation, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, further stalled plans.
Very also hit a total of 3.82m customers in the year ended July 3 2021, boosting the group’s total customers to 4.82m.
Analysts said at the time that these results would do well to “whet the appetite of potential investors.”
“Value with simple payment solutions will appeal to budget conscious shoppers and investments made to amp up automation in its fulfilment centre will help it navigate labour shortages,” Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst, said.
However, Hewson had cautioned that retail was a “competitive beast” with consumers demanding “more than ever” from their shopping experiences, be it online or physical stores.
“If the business does follow through on tentative plans to float next year  investors will pull apart growth plans, ensuring this bump isn’t just a Covid coincidence,” she added.
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