Mar 8, 2016
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French luxury group SMCP takes step towards IPO

Mar 8, 2016

SMCP, the French company behind fashion brands Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, said on Tuesday that it had submitted regulatory documents opening the way for a possible stock market listing.

The company, controlled by private equity firm KKR, made the announcement as it reported a 44 percent rise in 2015 core profit.

An ad for Sandro - SMCP

It said sales rose 33 percent to 675 million euros ($744 million).

"We are confident that we will continue pursuing profitable growth, via both organic growth and the expansion of our network across our key markets, with the ambition to become a global leader in accessible luxury," Chief Executive Daniel Lalonde said in a statement.

Sources told Reuters last October that KKR had hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS to review options for SMCP including an initial public offering (IPO). They said the business could be valued at over 1 billion euros.

Lalonde said on Tuesday that registering its reference document with the AMF stock market regulator marked "the first preliminary step toward a potential IPO".

Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, which sell 200-euro dresses, operate in the "accessible" segment of the luxury market which has been benefiting from buoyant demand among fast-growing middle classes, particularly in countries such as China.

The company is expanding outside France, particularly in China, the United States, Britain, Spain and Italy.

It said more than half of its net sales came from abroad last year, a 61 percent increase.

KKR acquired a stake of over 60 percent in SMCP in 2013 in a deal that valued it at around 650 million euros.

$1 = 0.9072 euros

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