Online Luxury Retailer Mytheresa Is Said to Plan U.S. IPO GmbH, the luxury online retailer specializing in women’s clothing, is planning a U.S. listing in early 2021, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The fast-growing German e-commerce company is working with advisers on preparations for a potential initial public offering, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It plans to seek a valuation of about $1 billion to $1.5 billion, though the target could change depending on business performance during the crucial holiday season, the people said.

Mytheresa has also attracted preliminary interest from listed blank-check firms, known as special purpose acquisition companies, one of the people said.

The company, which is backed by Ares Management Corp. and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, is taking advantage of a boom in online sales as coronavirus lockdowns keep shoppers at home. Shares of rival luxury boutique platform Farfetch Ltd. have nearly quadrupled in U.S. trading this year, buoyed by a $1.1 billion investment from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Richemont announced this month.

Internet companies globally have completed $18.3 billion of IPOs this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. No final decisions have been made, and details including the timing and valuation of Mytheresa’s listing could change, the people said.

Representatives for Ares, CPPIB and Mytheresa declined to comment.

Neiman Purchase

Mytheresa traces its roots back more than 30 years to a luxury store in Munich. In 2006, it launched a small e-commerce business and has now grown into a business with more than 700 employees.

The company sells over 250 brands including Gucci, Prada and Givenchy to women, men and children in more than 140 countries, according to its website. Mytheresa is based near the Bavarian capital of Munich in southern Germany.

Luxury department store operator Neiman Marcus, then owned by Ares and CPPIB, acquired Mytheresa in 2014. The purchase price totaled about $253 million, including additional payments tied to the company’s performance after the acquisition, according to court filings. Neiman transferred the online unit to its ultimate parent company in 2018, putting Mytheresa out of creditors’ reach.

Dallas-based Neiman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May this year, after efforts to manage the chain’s debt load unraveled and stores were forced to shut at the height of Covid-19.

In Neiman’s bankruptcy case, a committee of unsecured creditors demanded a piece of Mytheresa to compensate for their losses. The creditor group ultimately agreed to drop objections to Neiman’s bankruptcy reorganization in exchange for a partial stake in the online business. Ares and CPPIB kept their majority stake in Mytheresa through the bankruptcy.

Neiman’s parent company tried to sell Mytheresa last year, according to documents filed as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. It eventually ended the marketing process in July 2019 because the highest offer it received was $525 million.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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