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Online luxury fashion retailer MyTheresa plans NYSE listing: sources

MUNICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Online luxury fashion retailer MyTheresa plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange, taking advantage of robust equity markets, people close to the matter said.

Its owner, Neiman Marcus, is working with Morgan Stanley on the planned listing, which could take place as early as April, they added.

The buyout fund Ares, which owns Neiman Marcus, and Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while MyTheresa was not available for comment.

The firm, which sells clothes from 250 of the world’s most coveted fashion brands including Prada, Gucci, Burberry and Dolce&Gabbana, may be valued at around $500 million in a potential deal, one of the sources said.

MyTheresa peers such as Zalando, Global Fashion and Asos are listed in Europe, but the firm is opting for a listing in New York, the sources said, following fellow online fashion retailers Farfetch and The RealReal.

The pair had successful market debuts but have since struggled, with both companies’ stock trading below their initial public offering prices.

The IPO would also be the latest example of a private equity firm spinning out a better-performing retail asset from its struggling parent company.

BC Partners last year took out its successful Chewy Inc brand from PetSmart, while TPG-owned U.S. clothing chain J Crew is exploring an IPO of its up-market Madewell brand.

Such carve-outs have been contentious with some creditors of the parent companies.

Neiman Marcus and Ares face a lawsuit in New York state Supreme Court over a debt restructuring involving MyTheresa that creditors said in legal papers robbed them of the value of the online retailer.

Fashion retailers Susanne and Christoph Botschen opened a store in Munich, Germany, in 1987 called Theresa, which still exists. In 2006, they launched the online shop MyTheresa. Neiman Marcus bought the business in 2014.

Neiman Marcus said in April that in order to address its high debt levels, it was exploring strategic alternatives with respect to MyTheresa.

Ares and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have owned Neiman Marcus since 2013.

For the nine months ended March 31, 2019, MyTheresa posted operative earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 15.2 million euros on sales of 272 million euros, according to a filing from Neiman Marcus.

According to a regulatory filing in Germany, MyTheresa posted a net profit of 21 million euros on sales of 370 million euros in fiscal 2018/19.

Reporting by Alexander Hübner and Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Peter Cooney

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