FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Shopping tax refund firm Global Blue targets a pre-summer stock market listing in Amsterdam as it seeks to take advantage of robust equities valuations, people close to the matter told Reuters.
The company’s controlling shareholder Silver Lake is expected to sell shares worth up to 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in a deal that could value Global Blue at more than 4 billion euros including debt, they said.
Silver Lake was not immediately available for comment. Partners Group (PGHN.S), which has a minority stake in Global Blue, declined to comment, while the banks also declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.
Global Blue, whose headquarters are in Switzerland, serves tourists who buy luxury goods while traveling abroad. It has been backed by private equity investors for the past nine years, with Silver Lake and Partners Group being the latest funds to come onboard in 2012.
The business relies mainly on Chinese, Middle Eastern and Russian tourists who use its network to purchase goods tax free, and has in the past drawn interest from Asian buyers seeking access to European markets, sources close to the matter have said previously.
A sale of the company remains an option, one of the people said.
Moody’s in December lifted Global Blue’s ratings outlook to positive from stable, citing a reduction in the firm’s debt to 3.7 times core earnings by the end of March 2017 from 4.4 times a year earlier.
Global Blue’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased to 175 million euros in the 12 months to Sept. 30, 2017, Moody’s said. In its last fiscal year, which ended March 30, 2017, the group reported sales of 418 million euros.
Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Oliver Hirt and Toby Sterling; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Susan Fenton