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Business

Douglas plans stock market comeback

German perfume chain Douglas has said it is preparing to go public again after a two-year abscense from the stock market. This comes as the company celebrates its new position as Europe's market leader.

German perfume retailer Douglas announced Friday it was preparing a stock market listing of existing shares and a capital increase of around 70 million euros ($77 million) this year.

Douglas is owned by US private equity group Advent and company founders, the Kreke family, which hold 80 percent and 20 percent respectively. The company said that the family would retain a stake after the IPO. Douglas was delisted two years ago when it was acquired by Advent.

“Since the delisting, we have successfully developed Douglas from a diversified retail conglomerate predominantly operating in Germany into a pan-European selective beauty retailer. The time for the next chapter has now come,” Chief Executive Henning Kreke said in a statement.

The IPO was intended to expand the company's footprint in growing markets, and to develop and market successful product innovations, the statement also said.

European market leader

Since being taken private in 2013, Douglas has pursued a strategy of seeking to become Europe's top perfumes retailer. It has acquired French perfumeries chain Nocibe and has sold its confectionary stores. Last year, it appointed investment bank Macquarie to organize the sale of its Thalia book stores division.

According to Douglas's own figures, the company is currently market leader in Europe with a share of 17 percent. It runs 1,700 stores across 19 countries, with 80 percent of sales generated in five core markets.

Sales in the first half of its 2014/15 fiscal year were around 1.5 billion euros, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) around 180 million, adjusted for one-offs and restructuring charges.

In its statement, the company said that JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank were joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the initial public offering, with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as additional bookrunners.

uhe/pad (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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