Booming Moonpig tipped to float

Jo Francis
Monday, January 11, 2021

Moonpig could become the first print-related business to float on London's main market in nearly 25 years, amid reports that a £1bn flotation plan is being readied for the web-to-print group.

Moonpig has a range of more than 16,000 card designs
Moonpig has a range of more than 16,000 card designs

Moonpig is owned by private equity firm Exponent. Sky News has reported that the online greeting cards and gifts business is poised to announce plans for an IPO (Initial Public Offering) in London – likely by the end of this month.

A new company, Project Titan PLC, was registered at Companies House last year and changed its name to Moonpig Group PLC at the end of last week.

Moonpig sales have soared during lockdown while luckless high street competitors have been forced to close their stores. It has websites serving the UK, USA and Australian markets and operates under the Greetz brand in the Netherlands.

Its most recent results, for the year to 30 April 2019, showed overall sales up 9% to £99.25m with gross margin of 54% and an operating margin (prior to exceptionals) of 18%.

The firm’s production hub is in Guernsey. During the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK last spring the business had to briefly suspended online ordering in order to flatten production peaks and keep up with demand, while adapting to Covid-secure working conditions.

Moonpig’s current service status states that due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the postal service, “cards can take up to two days to be delivered. We recommend ordering as early as possible to avoid any delays”.

Moonpig said it had no comment to make regarding the flotation speculation at the present time. It is one of a number of tech “unicorns” – companies with a valuation of at least £1bn – that could float this year.

Sky News said that investment banks Citi and JP Morgan were handling the listing, which will value Moonpig at more than £1bn and "potentially as much as £1.5bn".

Photobox acquired Moonpig in a £120m deal in 2011, with founder Nick Jenkins cashing in to the tune of £42m.

Five years ago Photobox scrapped its own plans to float after private equity houses expressed an interest in buying the group, with Exponent and Electra subsequently buying the business for around £400m.

Since 2019 Moonpig and £112m-turnover Photobox have operated as separate businesses.

Former WH Smith boss Kate Swann joined Moonpig as chair in 2019. 

The last printing industry business to float was print procurement specialist TripleArc in 2001, when it raised £3m through a flotation on AIM. Leeds-based Team Impression listed on the Plus Market in September 2007, but delisted three years later saying the cost of a listing was not worthwhile.

The last substantial print listing on the LSE main market was Fulmar in 1996.

 

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