DFS Furniture made a muted debut on London’s Stock Exchange as its shares closed flat at the offer price of 255p.
The 255p price tag was at the bottom end of a 245p to 310p range and valued the business at £543m.
Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “Investors are clearly nervous about DFS’s prospects after the general election,” referring to predictions that there will be no clear winning party, which could hit consumer confidence.
“It is hard to spin today’s news that the IPO has been priced at only 255p as a success,” he added.
Doncaster-based DFS, which is majority-owned by private equity firm Advent International, has a quarter share of Britain’s £3bn upholstered furniture market.
It has 105 stores in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, mainly on retail parks. The group said the offer, which represented 38 per cent of DFS’s share capital, raised gross proceeds of £98m, which would be used to reduce debt and secure cheaper financing.
The float marks DFS’ return to the London stock market after an absence of more than a decade.
DFS was founded by Lord Kirkham from a single store in Doncaster.
The group was listed on the London market between 1993 to 2004 before Lord Kirkham took it back into private hands.
Chairman Richard Baker said: “I am extremely proud of what has been achieved at DFS since 2010 and excited about what is to come as a public company.”
The move comes after smaller rival ScS floated on the London market in January valuing it at £70m.
DFS competes against rivals such as Furniture Village and Sofaworks.
It posted annual gross sales of £874.8m in 2014, turning in a pre-tax profit of £85.2m.
Advent will keep a 50 to 56 per cent stake and directors will hold 3.2 per cent.