Retailer Joules is to list on the London Stock Exchange’s junior Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a valuation of £140m.
The company said the initial public offering will take place in the second quarter of 2016, and the listing is expected to see founder Tom Joule pocket £40m as he trims his 80 per cent stake to below 50 per cent.
Mr Joule founded the fashion retailer 27 years ago, and today it operates from 98 stores in the UK and Ireland.
Revenues last year came in at £116.4m with a strong performance from its international presence in Germany and North America.
The money raised will be used to boost store numbers in the UK and overseas. Private equity firm LDC will also offload its 20 per cent stake as part of the listing. Joules has mandated investment bank Rothschild to act as adviser during the process.
Colin Porter, the chief executive of Joules, said: “Joules is a distinctive, established and fast-growing lifestyle brand and we are delighted to announce our intention to list on AIM as an exciting new phase in the brand’s development.
“Joules has a rare heritage and a strong presence across clothing and lifestyle product categories.
“Since the brand’s foundation more than 26 years ago, Joules has enjoyed strong, consistent growth, developing into the much-loved fun, family, ‘time-off’ lifestyle brand it is today.
“We have a clear strategy to develop the brand further and we see real potential for continued growth across channels both in our core UK market and internationally.”
The company was established by Tom Joule in Market Harborough in 1989. Mr Joule spotted an opportunity to sell practical yet stylish high-quality products which reflect the personalities of those who love the outdoors.
After noticing his customers’ love of colour, Mr Joule bought 100 pairs of pink wellies – they sold out – and since then, Joules has sold more than 1.4 million pairs.
Mr Porter took the reins as chief executive in September 2015, with Mr Joule focusing on the creative side of the business.
In connection with the admission, the company has announced the appointment of David Stead as senior independent non-executive director and Jill Little as independent non-executive director.
In a statement, Joules said; “The directors believe that these individuals will bring significant additional experience and support to the board of Joules. Neil McCausland will continue as non-executive chairman of the group.
“Tom Joule, the founder and chief brand officer, will continue as an executive director.”
The business has grown rapidly in the UK and internationally. In the UK, revenues grew by 44 per cent, to £105.8m, from 2013 to 2015, driven primarily by store roll-outs, increased sales within existing wholesale accounts and continued expansion of the company’s e-commerce operation.
In the same period, international revenues have grown 198 per cent to £10.6m. The growth of the business has been underpinned by significant investments in its supply chain, IT, international sales and people.
Joules has an independent stockist in Browns of York, and an outlet at MacArthur Glen, near York. It also has stores in York, Beverley, Ilkley, Meadowhall, Harrogate, Skipton, and Northallerton.
Joules employs 101 people in Yorkshire and a spokesman said there are no current plans to establish further stores in the region. The stores in Meadowhall and Harrogate opened late last year.