Inspecs has hired an investment broker, Peel Hunt, to advise it on an initial public offering that will possibly be held in the autumn. The transaction is still going through due diligence proceedings, but according to the British daily The Times, it could raise £60 million (€67.0m-$76.3m) and value the company about £170 million (€190.3m-$216.8m).
Inspecs was founded in 1988 by Robin Totterman, a former bond trader, who owns 60 percent of the company. Last year, it posted sales of £45 million (€50.4m-$57.4m) and underlying profits of £6.2 million (€6.9m-$7.9m).
The funds raised in the IPO would finance the group's expansion following its previously reported acquisition of a Hong Kong-based eyewear manufacturer, Killine, for £23.3 million (€26.1m-$29.7m), giving Inspecs manufacturing facilities in China and Vietnam. The company currently produces 8 million frames a year in six factories.
It holds various licensed-brands including Superdry, O'Neill, Radley, Farah and Cat, and owns the label Savile Row, which is made in England. It takes care of private label products for Specsavers and Vision Express.
The news about Inspecs' planned IPO came out as the company won The Sunday Times Fast-Track Profit “One to Watch” Award earlier this month.
Tottermann noted in The Times article that the takeover of Killine has boosted the group's total staff to more than 1,300 and protected the company from the effects of a possible no-deal Brexit by establishing a second head office in Lisbon.
For the last two years, the chairman of the company has been Lord MacLaurin, who formerly headed up Tesco, the big international chain of supermarkets.