IPO Watch: Best and Less notches a slight gain on its ASX debut
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Best and Less (ASX:BST) has completed a $60 million IPO and listed on the ASX.
The company owns the discount clothing chain that shares its name, as well as Postie in New Zealand. Its network comprises of 246 physical stores and an online platform.
Best and Less had been eyeing off an IPO since being bought by private equity firm Allegro nearly two years ago and Allegro hired Macquarie to conduct a strategic review.
Best and Less launched the offer only to withdraw it in May then re-launch in June after retail entrepreneur Brett Blundy backed the company with a $40 million injection which gave him a 16.4% stake in the business.
It raised capital at $2.16 per share, giving it a market capitalisation of $271 million and shares rose slightly on debut.
The IPO of Best and Less has been a long time coming with the company’s first store being opened in Parramatta in 1965.
The company’s original owners sold it in 1998 to South African company Pepkor which sold it to Greenlit in 2014 before Allegro picked it up in November 2019.
Best and Less CEO Rodney Orrock said the day was another milestone in the company’s long history, arguing its focus on families with kids helped it thrive as long as it had – and that despite being ASX-listed, it would not change its roots.
“By focusing on mum and her family and by continually delivering what we call ‘twice the quality at half the price’, we have developed a very loyal following,” he said.
“We will maintain our customer-first philosophy as we embark the next phase of our growth journey as a listed company.”
Best and Less used its IPO day to give a trading update.
In the 52 weeks to June 27 it made $663.2 million in revenue – $5.5 million better than its prospectus – and it is tipping earnings to outperform its prospectus forecasts of $60.7 million by 15 per cent.
The company reported recent lockdowns in various states have posed a challenge, halting retail foot traffic, but still expects to achieve its earnings and profit forecasts with expectation demand will rebound as restrictions ease.