Discount e-commerce business MandM Direct to set up shop on AIM

Fashion, sports and outdoor clothing and apparel retailer MandM Direct is hoping to build on recent full-year revenues of £118.9 million by floating on the London Stock Exchange.

On the back of launching in three new markets during the last half year, MandM Direct has unveiled plans to join the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Established back in 1987, MandM Direct has produced an online e-commerce offering based on providing discounts of up to 75 per cent on high street brands such as Converse and UGG. According to the company, it does this by allowing brands to clear ‘large batches’ of excess stock.

The management team is led by CEO Jonathan Brown, who previously served as online director at John Lewis from 2009 to 2012 and director of multi channel at B&Q between 2007 and 2009.

Brown comments, ‘We are well positioned to benefit from the trends towards online retail and have a clear strategy to develop our UK and to expand our European businesses.

‘This listing represents and exciting stage in our development and will give us the opportunity to further accelerate.’

The listing on AIM will achieve at least a partial exit for private equity firm TA Associates, which had been rumoured to be interested in selling the business before then settling for an IPO.

TA Associates acquired MandM Direct in 2007 from British investors ECI Partners through a deal worth £86 million. ECI Partners itself had backed the company in 2004, when it sold clearance branded sportswear mainly through a mail order channel. Growth under ECI Partners hit 18 per cent for sales and 28 per cent for profits.

MandM Direct says it plans to raise approximately £12.5 million on admission, which will be used to pay existing outstanding senior debt and help with growth capital. The business also says it will be putting in place a new revolving credit facility of up to £20 million.

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Future growth will be driven around three ‘pillars’: range, reach and proposition. MandM Direct plans to expand its existing portfolio of products, up brand awareness and develop new markets.

To aid the float, MandM Direct has brought in former N Brown Group CEO Alan White as chairman-elect to lead.

White says, ‘MandM Direct’s management team has built a leading online off-price retailer and is highly regarded by its suppliers, with exciting prospects for the future.

‘MandM Direct’s long-standing relationships with many international brands allow the company to offer outstanding discounts to customers.’

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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