Debenhams to IPO for up to £2bn

UK retailer Debenhams has revealed that it will carry out an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange valuing the business at between £1.7bn and £2bn.

Private equity-backed UK department store Debenhams has confirmed that it will rejoin the public markets with a flotation on the London Stock Exchange.
Debenhams has set the price range for the IPO between 195 pence and 250 pence, valuing the retailer at between £1.7 billion (€2.45 billion; $3 billion) and £2 billion. Bookbuilding for the flotation began today and an announcement of the offer price and allocation are expected on May 4.
CVC Capital Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Merrill Lynch Private Equity invested £600 million in the take-private of Debenhams in May 2004. Since then, the private equity firms are understood to have returned around £1.3 billion to shareholders through two recapitalisations.
The flotation offer will consist of 314.6 million shares being issued by the company and 134.8 million to be sold by existing shareholders. The private equity consortium is expected to retain a stake of around 40 percent in Debenhams following the flotation and cannot sell any of their remaining holdings for 180 days.
Debenhams also published results for the 26 weeks to March 4 2006 showing adjusted EBITDA rose 12.3 percent to £198.2 million.