Waterstones may be floated on the London Stock Exchange, according to the Financial Times. James Daunt, MD of Waterstones and Barnes & Noble, has told the newspaper that a stock exchange listing would be a very sensible place for the bookseller group.
Daunt said: In terms of the ownership of a business which is growing, but not now dramatically, I would have thought it would be in the public markets. We will pay a very nice dividend for a pension fund-type investment rather than being in private equity. [A workforce that is extremely vocational and extremely committed [lends itself to a] stable ownership focused on the medium to long term.
Daunt added that he had explored an IPA (initial public offering) for the group in 2018, but the timing wasnt right because their owners, the private equity group Elliott, was tied-up with the acquisition of Barnes & Noble.
According to the Bookseller, Waterstonesprofits after taxation soared 1,352% to £42.1m in the year to end April 2022 from £2.9m in 2021 a massive recovery after the companys finances plunged during multiple lockdowns.