Monsoon goes for listing

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The Independent Online
Monsoon, the women's fashion retailer, is to seek a stock market listing later this summer, which will value the company at around pounds 250m.

Best known for an upmarket range of clothing with an ethnic image, Monsoon has 84 branches in the UK with a further 13 overseas. It operates a further 52 branches under the Accessorize name, which specialises in fashion accessories, such as hats, scarves and jewellery. Last year the company recorded profits of pounds 12.9m on sales of pounds 62.1m. The directors believe both Monsoon and Accessorize have scope for further expansion.

The company's major shareholder, an overseas-based independent trust which holds 67 per cent of the shares, is seeking to realise the value of part of that stake. No new money will be raised from the listing, which will be achieved by way of a placing.

Monsoon was founded in 1972 by Peter Simon who hatched the idea for the ethnic look while travelling. It opened its first shop in Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge. Mr Simon sold two-thirds of the shares to the investment trust in 1992 and 1993.