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Retail

Germany's Douglas Shares Fall Below IPO Guidance Price At Frankfurt Debut

By Reuters
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Germany's Douglas Shares Fall Below IPO Guidance Price At Frankfurt Debut

Shares in German perfume and cosmetics retailer Douglas fell 6.8% from their IPO price on the first day of trading, opening at €25.50 each, which would value the company, including debt, at almost €5 billion ($5.43 billion).

The listing on the Frankfurt exchange of the 31.8% percent stake is the largest initial public offering since Schott Pharma's debut in September.

Its final price guidance was €26.00 a share on Tuesday (19 March 2024).

The company, which is backed by CVC Capital Partners and the Kreke family, will use the IPO proceeds to pay off debt. Its owners have also committed to injecting around €300 million of extra capital to bolster the group's balance sheet.

The group had more than €3 billion of net debt at the end of December, according to its latest quarterly disclosures.

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Douglas

Douglas operates 1,850 perfume stores in 22 countries, but now does almost a third of its business online.

This is a return to the stock market for the retailer, which was delisted from the stock exchange in 2013 after a joint takeover by financial investor Advent and the Kreke family. In 2015, the majority went to CVC for almost €3 billion.

Douglas' IPO comes amid renewed optimism that Europe's muted IPO market may be on the mend after two years of limited deal activity.

Earlier this month, the cosmetics retailer said it would pursue a €1.1 billion initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, with the listing to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, subject to capital market conditions.

At the time CEO Sander van der Laan said in a statement, 'The Douglas Group is ideally positioned to further capitalise on the large and resilient European premium beauty market," calling an IPO the "logical next step" in the company's growth strategy.

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