The owners of Australian online shopping website Ozsale have sold a 25 per cent stake in the business to British billionaire Sir Philip Green.
The deal is likely to reap its private equity backers, Insight Venture Partners, a big windfall after paying $14.5 million for a 27 per cent interest when it was a start-up in 2010.
There are plans to float the business, estimated to be worth about $500m, on the London stock exchange in the months ahead after plans for a local listing were cancelled.
Sir Philip is the chief executive of Arcadia Group, which owns fashion brands including Topshop, and his interest in Ozsale is expected to create further growth opportunities for the company.
The business, which has an annual turnover of about $180m, was relocating its headquarters from Australia to Europe and would be renamed Mysale, reflecting its global expansion, sources said.
The business had been valued at 25 times earnings for the IPO, they said.
The vendors are believed to have received offers from trade buyers in Britain and are confident of getting a higher price there than they would have received had they listed in Australia. Founder Jamie Jackson, a Briton, will probably keep a 25 per cent stake.