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[March 10, 2014]
Moonpig owner is set for £500m listing in London
(City A.M. (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) PHOTOBOX is preparing for a London Stock Market listing that could value the photo printing group at up to £500m, after the £1.6bn flotation of online retailer AO World and upcoming flotation of Pets at Home whetted investors' appetites for London retail stocks.
The firm, which sells personalised tshirts, mugs and cards as well as photographs online, operates a group of similar businesses including Moonpig, Paper Shaker and Sticky Gram across 19 countries.
Photobox, which is listed among the UK government's Future Fifty list of high-growth tech companies, has reportedly appointed investment banks JP Morgan, Jefferies and Numis to plan for a listing sometime before this summer that will value the business at between £400m and £500m.
The company reported strong growth in 2013 with £148m in revenue during the year to April 2013, 13 per cent growth from the same period in 2012, and profits that rose 19 per cent to £19.7m during the year.
Chief executive Stan Laurent, a former AOL executive, led the group to its largest ever acquisition in 2011. It bought Moonpig.com for £120m, which led Moonpig founder Nick Jenkins to a multi-million pound windfall as a result of his 35 per cent stake in the company. Jenkins is no longer involved in the business.
The list of prior investors in Photobox includes Index Ventures - best-known as an investor in Skype and Betfair - Highland Capital Partners, Quilvest Ventures, Greenspring Associates, Harbour Vest and Insight Ventures.
The Future Fifty scheme, which Photobox joined in December, is a joint venture between the government and Tech City UK launched in April to connect high-growth companies with expertise and support that will help them to access the public markets.
"All of us look forward to working with the Future Fifty team to learn about other ways in which we can supplement our growth," Laurent said in December.
Last year Laurent outlined his plans for Photobox in 2014 as: "maintaining solid top-line growth, whilst investing in our three main growth levers: international, mobile and social services, and breadth of product offering across each of our leading brands." Photobox declined to comment on any plans to float.
(c) 2014 City A.M.
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