Online Greeting Card Retailer Moonpig Plans London Listing

Moonpig Group Plc said it intends to list in London, buoyed by an acceleration in online shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal is expected to value the virtual greeting card and gifting platform at more than 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion), according to people familiar with the transaction. The company's announcement adds to a resurgence in London’s initial public offerings, which are seeing the strongest start to a year since 2008 after a Brexit agreement cleared uncertainty for domestic firms.

The owner of the Moonpig brand in the U.K. and Greetz in the Netherlands is among companies that have benefited during lockdowns aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus, with consumers turning to online shopping in droves.

This online retail boom last year spurred other e-commerce companies, such as THG Holdings Plc and Allegro.eu SA, to list in the U.K. and Poland, respectively. Since their IPOs, THG shares have surged 61%, while Allegro is up 87%.

Moonpig held a 60% market share in the U.K. among online card specialists in 2019 and a 65% share in the Netherlands among the top three online card players in 2019, the company said, citing estimates from strategy consultants OC&C.

“As the leaders of the accelerating shift to online now is the perfect time for us to bring the company to the public market,” Nickyl Raithatha, chief executive officer of Moonpig Group, said in a statement. Chairwoman Kate Swann joined the company in 2019 after making her name as chief executive of WH Smith Plc and SSP Group Plc.

Moonpig is backed by Exponent Private Equity Partners, which owns a 41.3% stake. At least 25% of Moonpig’s share capital will be available for trading upon listing, the company said on Tuesday, adding that it expects to be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE U.K. indexes.

Its revenue rose 44% to 173.1 million pounds in the year ended April 30, while its underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was 44.4 million pounds, the statement showed.

Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are joint global coordinators, while HSBC Bank Plc​​​​, Jefferies International Ltd. and Numis Securities Ltd. are joint bookrunners.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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