Oasis reconsidering its flotation plans

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The Independent Online
NERVOUSNESS in the new issues market has forced Oasis Stores, the women's fashion retailer, to 'review the timetable' of its stock market flotation plans.

Advisers to the company yesterday called off this week's pre-marketing meetings with prospective institutional shareholders in the light of their threatened boycott of the new issues market.

However, the spokesman for Oasis said the flotation had been neither cancelled nor postponed. The company, which owns 45 stores, is planning a pounds 15m- pounds 25m placing of shares with institutions and the spokesman said the placing might still happen in the autumn.

At the beginning of this year Oasis, bought from the receiver in 1991 for pounds 1.2m, had planned a flotation in late spring, valuing it at around pounds 60m. The float is being sponsored by Robert Fleming and Panmure Gordon.

The expected delay in the Oasis placing follows the decision of other sponsors to postpone or scale down flotation plans. Last month Samuel Montagu postponed the flotation of Boxes, a carton maker, and at the weekend there were stories that BrightReasons, headed by the former Mecca chairman Michael Guthrie, and Martin Retail, the newsagent chain, would have to delay their flotation plans.

Oasis is owned by Michael and Maurice Bennett, brothers who teamed up with the designer Jeff Banks in the 1970s to create the Warehouse retail chain.