Very Group appoints advisory firm as it considers IPO

Published on: 22nd July 2021

The Barclay family is said to be mulling an IPO on London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM market for the retail group.

Very Group is considering an IPO and the Barclay family, which owns the group, has appointed advisory firm STJ Advisors to explore ownership options. The owners would potentially enjoy a £4b windfall from a flotation of  the online shopping empire.

STJ Advisors works with companies ahead of public listings and experts believe that a listing on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM market is likely to take place. The appointment of STJ is the clearest sign to date that the Barclays are intent on taking one of their businesses public for the first time. However, a placing would be unlikely to take place until 2022.

A flotation of Very Group would be a logical move following the online shopping boom during the coronavirus pandemic. Full-year results for Very for the 12 months to the end of June 2020 showed revenues of more than £2b for the first time.

Very Group, formerly Shop Direct, has been owned by the Barclay family for almost 20 years. The family has previously reviewed the ownership structure of the group when it held talks with a number of large private equity firms in 2017, but this is the first time advisors have been appointed.

As well as Very, the Barclays also own the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and Yodel, the logistics group.


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