Bonmarché set for AIM float

Clothing retailer Bonmarché is set to float on the Alternative Investment Market next week.

The placing of 20,007,260 ordinary shares at 200p per share will raise around £40m for the Wakefield firm.

Trading in Bonmarché shares is expected to start on November 20 on AIM under the ticker “BON”.

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At admission, the company will have 50,018,150 shares in issue.

The business, which has 264 shops, was bought by private equity firm Sun European Partners last year.

Beth Butterwick, chief executive of Bonmarché, said: “We are delighted to announce that our initial public offering has been successfully received. We would like to welcome our new shareholders and are looking forward to the next stage in the development of the business as a publicly quoted company.”

In the year to March 30, Bonmarché recorded EBITDA before exceptionals of £9.1m on sales of £146.8m. In the first half of the current year to September 28 like-for-likes rose 12.7%.

Bonmarche plans to expand at garden centres across the UK, on cruise ships and also has tie-ups with around 1,000 care homes, where staff hold sales events on the premises.

The chain also has a mail order arm, phone ordering service and TV shopping channel, and around 6.5m women are signed up to its loyalty programme.

Management hold almost 8 per cent and are not selling down their stake.