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Moonpig set for £1.2bn stock market debut

Online greeting card and gift retailer Moonpig has filed its intention to float on the UK stock market, with an approximate value of £1.2bn. The firm said on Tuesday that it is aiming for a February debut.

Demand for Moonpig’s products soared during the pandemic. With lockdown keeping people separated for birthdays and special occasions, the company’s handy next-day delivery option for cards, gifts and flowers offered a much-needed alternative, and transactions leaped 156% in March as the peak of the pandemic began to unfold.

Moonpig has appointed Citigroup Global Markets Limited and JPMorgan Securities as joint global co-ordinators ahead of the float, with HSBC Bank, Jefferies International and Numis Securities as joint bookrunners.

On announcing 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. US firms BlackRock and Dragoneer Global Fund have already agreed to buy £130m of the shares, with £80m and £50m committed respectively.

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

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Among them is chairwoman Kate Swann – former chief executive of WH Smith – who is expected to make £7m from the float. Moonpig’s chief executive Nickyl Raithatha is in line for £11m, and finance director Andy MacKinnon will also see £2m.

Well-established as the UK’s biggest online greeting card retailer, boasting more than 12 million customers, Moonpig managed to capitalise during lockdown when its high street rivals were forced to shut. The firm delivered 46 million cards and 7 million gifts and flowers in the 12 months up to October 2020. It reportedly manages up to 300,000 orders a day – one third of which are placed 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.

CEO Raithatha welcomed the news of the firm’s proposed IPO:

“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”.