Halfords, the UK’s biggest retailer of car parts, bikes and accessories, may return to the rigors of a UK public market listing if plans currently underway at CVC Capital Partners come to fruition. Although CVC Capital Partners is not commenting at this stage, it has been widely reported that Merrill Lynch and Citigroup have won the mandate to lead Halfords’ IPO.
Halfords was previously listed as part of the Boots plc chain. Having announced in April 2002 that it planned to spin off the Halfords chain, Boots then sold it to CVC Capital Partners in July 2002 for £410m. The planned float, if it proceeds, is expected to value Halfords at up to £1bn. A trade buyer may emerge before then, however.