TopShop’s owner, Sir Philip Green, is poised to return to the stock market with a 25 per cent stake in MySale. The Australian online clothes store is preparing to float in London with a value of more than £300m.
Several new listings have proved lacklustre but MySale brushed off fears that the bubble is about to burst and is expected to go public on Aim next month.
Sir Philip paid £50m for his holding through his wife Tina Green’s offshore investment firm, Shelton Capital.
The flotation will represent his first involvement with a quoted company since 1992, when he was ousted from the discount retailer Amber Day.
MySale offers fashion and accessories to its members at heavy discounts. Sir Philip has agreed to allow excess and out-of-season stock from his Arcadia Group – which includes BHS, Wallis and Miss Selfridge – on MySale as the site targets customers in different hemispheres to exploit differences in the seasons.
Sir Philip told The Independent: “What they have managed to achieve in Australia is very impressive: signing up 10 million members is exceptional. Online is an interesting space in the market.”
Asked whether he would take an official role in the company, he said: “I’ve got enough to do. They have done very well. I will offer them a helpline.”
Sir Philip added that the online fashion market is evolving rapidly. “It is a very heavily shopped marketplace. Everybody is learning something new every day. My guys are constantly bombarded with new apps and ideas,” he said.
The move to back MySale will turn up the heat on the online fashion giant Asos. Sir Philip claims he has rebuffed several approaches to sell his retailers’ clothes and in 2012 he issued a legal letter to Asos after third-party sellers put TopShop clothes up for sale on the site.
This month MySale swooped to buy the online fashion retailer Cocosa, which had belonged to the former Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed. The company was wound down last October after struggling to gain market share.
MySale, which hopes to raise £40m through the listing, holds up to 60 flash sales a day across fashion, homewares and cosmetics products. The deals last about three days.