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Footasylum set to be valued at £171.3m on stockmarket debut

Footasylum said today that its stockmarket float would value it at £171.3m, as it looks to raise about £65.4m to fund its multichannel strategy for growth.

Shares in the company are set to go on sale at £1.64, with £43.4m raised conditionally before the placing is opened. Some 37% of the company will be sold and 67% of the company will be owned by the family of founder David Makin, who previously co-founded the JD Sports chain.

Footasylum sells online and via 61 UK stores located in varied sites including the high street, shopping malls and retail parks. In its 2017 full-year, online accounted for 29% of sales of £147m and its stores for 71%. It now plans to expand both of those channels and to invest in technology systems and marketing to support that growth and to improve the customer experience. It says it’s already in a strong competitive position to do that, with a “highly visible and distinctive profile both on social media and on the high street,” and it says there’s plenty of potential for future growth.

Clare Nesbitt, chief executive of Footasylum, said: “Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the Footasylum story. We are delighted that our product-led, multi-channel expansion strategy has resonated so strongly with investors, and are thrilled to have received such a strong level of demand for the placing. We welcome our new shareholders and look forward to delivering the significant potential that we see for Footasylum as a quoted business.”

Nesbitt joined the business as a merchandising assistant in 2009 and became assistant chief executive the following year, before taking over as chief executive in 2015. Under her leadership the company has grown from 15 to 61 stores. The executive chairman of the company is currently John Wardle, co-founder with Makin at JD Sports. He is set to retire and will succeeded by Barry Bown in June 2018. Bown was chief executive at JD Sports between 2000 and 2014.

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