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Clothing company FatFace seeks $743M London listing

British clothing chain FatFace is to list on the London Stock Exchange, it said on Thursday, targeting a market value of at least 440 million pounds ($743 million).

The company, owned by European private equity group Bridgepoint and chaired by a former head of Marks and Spencer, said it aims to raise gross proceeds of up to 110 million pounds through the sale of new and existing shares, with a minimum free float of 25 percent.

Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bridgepoint paid 360 million pounds to buy FatFace in 2007 from rival private equity firm Advent. The investment has proved difficult at times, with Bridgepoint injecting a total of 25 million pounds in three phases as the retailer struggled to find its niche.

FatFace has since changed tack from a move to target younger shoppers in favour of a return to its middle-aged core market. Stuart Rose, the former head of Marks and Spencer, joined as chairman in 2013.

FatFace, whose two founders began by selling T-shirts from a VW campervan in the French Alps, will use the new capital to cut debt to 60 million pounds and reduce associated bank costs and fees.

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The company joins several other private equity-owned British retailers that have listed this year to take advantage of firm equity markets. Poundland, owned by Warburg Pincus, and KKR's Pets at Home both floated last month.

FatFace has 207 stores across the UK, achieving adjusted core earnings of 31.2 million pounds in its 2013 financial year.

The sale will be led by Citigroup and Jefferies, with Canaccord Genuity as lead manager and Lazard as financial adviser.

Bridgepoint declined to comment.

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