(Reuters) Buyout group Advent is bringing forward the planned flotation of German perfume retail chain Douglas, anxious not to miss the right moment for such a deal, which hinges on the mood of equity markets.
The group is expected to kick off the process for an initial public offering (IPO) by issuing a so-called intention to float in the last week of May, with trading to start four weeks later, several sources familiar with the matter said.
Until now, Douglas had been expected to list no sooner than October.
German stock markets are hovering around all-time highs, and several smaller companies – including Sixt Leasing and Windeln.de – have already taken advantage of buoyant equities markets by going public.
Advent is hoping to reap an equity value of at least 3 billion euros ($3.37 billion) in a flotation of Douglas and is giving the IPO track priority over an alternative outright sale, the sources said.
Bids from luxury goods group LVMH, U.S. pharmacy group CVS, an Asian bidder as well as buyout groups CVC and KKR did so far not meet the asking price of the seller, they said.
JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are organising the IPO with the help of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.
Advent, Douglas, KKR and CVC, declined to comment, while CVS and LVMH were not immediately available for comment.