Retail

Moonpig confirms stock market flotation for up to £1.2bn


The online greeting card and gifts retailer Moonpig has outlined plans for a £1.2bn float on the London Stock Exchange, after demand surged for its personalised products during the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing new details of the planned initial public offering, Moonpig, which has been owned by the private equity firm Exponent since 2016, said it would float at least a quarter of the company.

The US firms BlackRock and Dragoneer Global Fund have agreed to buy £130m of the shares, which are expected to start trading next month.

The retailer is chaired by Kate Swann, the former chief executive of WH Smith who is expected to make £7m from the float. Nickyl Raithatha, the Moonpig chief executive, is in line for £11m and the finance director, Andy MacKinnon, will also benefit, with £2m.

Moonpig is expected to publish its prospectus next week with further details. Its 450 employees will also be given shares.

The decision to float comes after a stellar year for the company, which sells cards that can be personalised as well as a range of gifts including flowers, prosecco, gin, beer and chocolate. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a boom in sales, as Moonpig won 1 million new customers in the first eight weeks of the first national lockdown in the spring.

It is the UK’s biggest online greeting card retailer with more than 12 million customers, as multiple lockdowns forced high street rivals such as Clintons to shut their doors. Moonpig also trades in the Netherlands, under the name Greetz, which means greetings in Dutch.

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The firm delivered 46m cards and 7m gifts and flowers in the 12 months to October, and it deals with up to 300,000 orders a day, one third of which come via its app. Moonpig made £156m in sales in the six months to the end of October, compared with £173m for the entire previous year.

Raithatha said: “As leaders of a market undergoing an accelerating shift online, we’re delighted to bring Moonpig Group to the public market. Our data-powered technology platform makes it incredibly easy for our customers to create more special moments for the people they care about.”

Moonpig was founded two decades ago by Nick Jenkins, a former commodities trader at Glencore and Dragon’s Den star, who named the firm after his schoolboy nickname. He made £42m in 2011 from the sale of the business to the online photo printing company Photobox, which was subsequently bought by the private equity firms Electra and Exponent.

Photobox and Moonpig were split into separate businesses in 2019.



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