Debenhams is returning to the stock market less than three years after being bought by private equity backers CVC Capital, Merrill Lynch Private Equity and Texas Pacific. The price range of its IPO on the London Stock Exchange has been set at between 195 pence and 250 pence per ordinary share. At the top end of this price range the business could raise up to £1.24bn, with a potential market capitalization of between £1.67bn and £1.95bn. If the business reaches the top end of the range this would be the largest IPO this year.
CVC Capital, Merrill Lynch Private Equity and Texas Pacific each took a 30% stake in Debenhams when it was taken private in 2003 for £1.7bn. The business has been the subject of a highly competitive bidding process where a consortium led by Permira was also bidding with a recommended £1.54bn cash offer. The private equity firms will each retain significant shareholdings in the business post-IPO and will commit not to sell any of their remaining holdings for at least 180 days.