Ozsale looking for UK buyer

Owners put online shopping website on market after cancelling IPO plans.

Owners of online shopping website Ozsale are understood to be seeking a buyer in Britain after the cancellation of plans for a float on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Sources said the business had been valued at 25 times its earnings for the initial public offering.

Investment bank Macquarie Group had been working on the float before the plans were abandoned, testing the market in February for a listing later in the year.

Sources say the vendors have received offers from trade buyers in Britain and were confident of getting a higher price there than they would have received had they listed in Australia.

There have been suggestions the company could list on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing companies.

Ozsale was founded by British entrepreneur Jamie Jackson as a vehicle to sell surplus clothing stock.

It was formed from the ruins of Gowings, the bankrupt Sydney store which Mr Jackson bought out of insolvency in 2006.

US company Insight Venture Partners bought a 27 per cent stake for $14.5m in 2010 when the company was a start-up, The Wall Street Journal reported in February.

While the price being sought is unclear, previous reports suggest it was valued at about $500m, with plans to raise more than $200m from investors wanting exposure to online apparel sales.

A listing was tipped for May or June, a move that would have likely seen Insight Venture Partners realise a return on its investment.

The company helps brands like Adidas, Gap, Billabong International and Country Road liquidate end-of-line stock through short online sales.

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