Watches of Switzerland valuation hits £647m after IPO
Watches of Switzerland, the British retail group behind luxury chains including Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths, made its debut on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday with shares rising by 15% during the morning.
The company had set a share price at 270p each, valuing the business at £647 million on its stock market debut. The stock started trading at 295p and rose to as much as 315p on Thursday morning.
The group said 34% of its share capital was floated immediately in the initial public offering under the symbol WOSG. A further 8 million shares could be made available by main shareholder Jewel HoldCo S.à.r.l. if it decides to pursue its so-called over-allotment option, which would increase the total of shares being traded to 37.4% of the company.
“Today marks the next phase in our growth story,” Brian Duffy, group CEO, said: “I am delighted by the reaction we have received from the market to our business and the significant opportunities that lie ahead.
“On behalf of all our colleagues, I look forward to welcoming our new shareholders to the business and to working with them as we continue to execute on our growth strategy."
The group, which sells luxury watch brands such as Rolex, Cartier and Omega, has previously stated that the money raised from the float will be used to cut debt and fund its expansion in the US and UK.
In the year to 27 January, the business made revenues of £773 million, up 22.5% on the previous year. UK like-for-like sales grew 10% during the period.
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