Philip Green weighs up float of MK One

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The Independent Online
PHILIP GREEN, the retail entrepreneur who led a pounds 548m takeover of the Sears group in January, yesterday said he was mulling the flotation of MK One, his discount clothing chain.

Mr Green said that he was currently planning an ambitious expansion of the 128-strong chain. Among the options he is considering is the possibility of reversing the company into an already listed vehicle.

Mr Green said: "We may look at reversing into something, but there are all sorts of possibilities." He said the chain's strong cash position meant there was no pressure to go public.

MK One is already planning to open 40 stores in the coming year, having brought on stream 28 outlets in the past quarter. Mr Green said: "We're on the look-out for further sites and we'll also look at bolt-on acquisitions."

Mr Green said MK One was performing well and successfully competing with listed companies in the value sector.

He said: "Nice and quietly, we are probably doing better than all the other people. Once we were seen as a poor competitor for New Look. Now we are a good competitor."

He said MK One had achieved 22 per cent like-for-like growth so far this year. The company's turnover is expected to rise to about pounds 95m in the year to January 2000, compared to pounds 77m the previous year.

Mr Green did not comment on recent reports that he was interested in launching a takeover of Storehouse, the struggling retail group which recently announced plans to break up its Bhs and Mothercare chains.