Online Fashion Retailer About You Surges in Trading Debut

E-commerce company About You Holding AG jumped as much as 17% on its first trading day in Frankfurt, bolstered by investor expectations that easing lockdown restrictions will boost sales of its party and eveningwear.

The shares were trading at 26.06 euros at 12:15 p.m. in Germany, up from the initial public offering price of 23 euros. The sale of the 21% stake raised 842 million euros ($1 billion) and values About You at 3.92 billion euros.

Supportive central-bank policies have left investors sitting on big piles of cash, which they are readily funneling into new stocks. IPOs have raised almost $46 billion in Europe this year, about 10 times the proceeds by this time in 2020.

About You’s listing contributes to a renaissance in the German IPO market, which is eyeing a record haul for the first half of a year.

Still, a glut of deals has made investors more selective, giving them stronger bargaining power on pricing. About You priced its listing in the lower half of an initial range, just below the midpoint.

Unlike other e-commerce operators viewed as so-called lockdown winners, About You was pitched as a recovery play to investors.

“We are very much looking forward to the loosening of restrictions; demand in categories we are strong in is already coming back,” co-founder Tarek Mueller said in an interview. He cited dresses, with a focus on evening and party wear, which before the pandemic was the company’s biggest area of sales.

“We are looking forward to restrictions ending, but even if the opening is delayed, our business plan isn’t at risk,” Mueller said. The company’s revenue increased 57% in a “full pandemic year.”

About You, which aims to digitize the classic stroll around a mall by creating a personalized shopping experience on smartphones, caters to young women in their 20s and 30s. It competes with the likes of Asos Plc and Zalando SE on the retail side, and also has an online shopping platform, akin to Shopify Inc.’s.

Michael Otto’s e-commerce empire Otto Group, which got its start in post-World War II Germany as a mail-order company famous for its fashion catalogs, is among About You’s backers. So is Heartland, the holding company of fashion tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen and his family, which also has stakes in Asos and Zalando.

Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners, with joint bookrunners Numis Securities Ltd., Societe Generale SA and UBS Group AG.

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