Web Retailer AO Said to Find Buyers at $2 Billion Valuation

AO Plc has demand for all the shares it plans to sell in an initial public offering that may value the U.K. online appliances retailer at as much as 1.2 billion pounds ($2 billion), according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The shares are being offered in a range of 235 pence to 285 pence, said the people, asking not to be named because the details are private. At the top end of that range, existing shareholders will raise 363 million pounds, they said. AO also plans to raise about 60 million pounds selling new shares.

AO, which had 24 percent of the U.K. online market for domestic appliances in 2012, is among retailers that have announced plans to sell shares this year as investors return to the market on the strength of an economic recovery. IPOs in London raised about $19 billion last year, about double what they sold in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The retailer will be valued at 72 times its projected 2015 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, at the top end of the price range it is offering the IPO shares at, according to one of the people.

AO announced Feb. 7 that it would list on the London Stock Exchange. For the year ended March 2013, the company reported a 32 percent increase in revenue to 275.5 million pounds and Ebitda of 10.7 million pounds, according to a statement.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jefferies Group Plc and Numis Securities Ltd. are managing the sale and Rothschild acted as financial adviser, according to the listing announcement.

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