September 18, 2017 / 8:06 AM / a year ago

French fashion group SMCP moves step closer towards IPO

PARIS (Reuters) - SMCP, the French fashion group behind brands such as Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, moved a step closer towards its stock market listing after filing its intentions for an initial public offering with French authorities.

SMCP said on Monday that it had filed its registration document with France’s AMF markets watchdog - a formal step towards its planned IPO.

SMCP, majority owned by China’s Shandong Ruyi 002193.SZ, also reported higher 2017 first-half sales and earnings. Shandong Ruyi will keep a stake of around 51 percent following SMCP’s stock market listing.

It reported a 20 percent rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to 73 million euros ($87 million) on sales up 16 percent at 439 million euros.

“We are pleased to announce the filing of our registration document with the AMF, which represents the first step of our initial public offering project,” SMCP Chief Executive Daniel Lalonde said.

“Our H1 2017 results show a strong increase in our net sales and EBITDA. This success confirms the relevance of our business model and strategy that aims to pursue organic growth, expand our network in our key markets, accelerate on digital, menswear and accessories,” he said.

Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot sell dresses priced at around 200 euros in France and operate in what is classified as the accessible luxury market.

Buoyant demand among fast-growing middle classes, particularly in countries such as China, has boosted this segment.

In August, sources familiar with the matter said that Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), JP Morgan (JPM.N) and KKR Capital Markets (KKR.N) had been chosen as joint global coordinators for SMCP’s flotation.

($1 = 0.8374 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely

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