CVC Capital Partners is weighing an initial public offering of Douglas and could seek a value of more than €7 billion ($7.7 billion) for the German perfume retailer, people with knowledge of the matter said.
(Bloomberg) — CVC Capital Partners is weighing an initial public offering of Douglas and could seek a value of more than €7 billion ($7.7 billion) for the German perfume retailer, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The private equity firm is working with independent adviser Rothschild & Co. as it explores a possible 2024 IPO of the business, according to the people. CVC is eyeing Frankfurt as a listing venue for Douglas and will start to ask banks to pitch for roles next month, they said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.
Deliberations are ongoing and no final decisions on if, or when, to proceed with an IPO of Douglas have been made, the people said. The valuation and timing will also depend on market conditions, investor demand and business development, they said. Representatives for CVC and Rothschild declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Douglas didn’t immediately provide comment.
With roots dating back to 1821, Douglas operates more than 1,800 stores across Europe. The company, which generated revenue of about €3.7 billion in its 2021/22 fiscal year, has been investing in both its retail stores and online offering as part of its “Let it Bloom” growth plan.
Douglas has been exploring a route to public markets for years. CVC agreed to acquire the business from Advent International, and the founding Kreke family, in 2015 for about €2.8 billion, just days after Douglas had announced plans for an IPO.
IPO volumes in Europe remain subdued, with macroeconomic and geopolitical tensions weighing on investor appetite for new deals and cutting off an important path for private equity firms to exit investments. Companies have raised just $10 billion from IPOs on European exchanges this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show, with bankers only predicting a gradual reopening of equity capital markets in the months ahead.
CVC is separately restarting work on an IPO of German fleet services firm DKV Mobility, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday. It could seek a value of as much as €4 billion for DKV in a listing.
Douglas’s secured bonds gained 2 cents on the euro to 97, following the report on the potential listing, according to CBBT pricing compiled by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, its unsecured bonds issued out of entity Kirk Beauty SUN GmbH rose by 3.4 cents to 92.
–With assistance from Ruth David and Giulia Morpurgo.
(Adds bond movement in last paragraph.)
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