UK-based online card and gift retailer Moonpig has today announced that it will be advancing its stock market debut, placing the value of the company at up to £1.2bn. It also elaborated on its initial public offering (IPO) plans that were announced last month.

The retailer, which is owned by private equity firm Exponent at a 41.3% stake, said that at least 25% of its share capital would be made available for trading in the IPO with trading starting next month. Already, US firms BlackRock and Dragoneer Global Fund have agreed to buy £130m of shares once trading begins, at £80m and £50m respectively.

Moonpig chief executive Nickyl Raithatha said: “As leaders of a market undergoing an accelerating shift online, we’re delighted to bring Moonpig Group to the public market. Our data-powered technology platform makes it incredibly easy for our customers to create more special moments for the people they care about.”

This follows an announcement by the retailer last week that it was planning a £1bn stock market flotation following a successful year for the retailer amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, as demand for personalised cards and gifts soared due to multiple lockdowns across the UK. Moonpig reported a surge in sales and profits in 2020, rising 137% to £33m.

Increased demand for personalised products grants Moonpig a successful year

Moonpig’s success in 2020 has been attributed to a rise in demand for personalised cards and gifts amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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By GlobalData

Personalisation and premiumisation have been trending amongst many industries, especially in the consumer market, benefiting online card retailers like Moonpig as well as independent businesses and luxury retailers.

Last month, UK-based manufacturing packaging company Tiny Box Company founder and managing director Rachel Watkyn told Packaging Gateway that the trend could be attributed to people looking for meaningful gifts, to feel an emotional connection.

Watkyn said: “What do you buy the person who has everything?” asks Watkyn. “People need meaning, and I think personalised packaging can fill this gap and make people feel special. It’s one thing to buy a gift for someone, it’s another to have it come in a personalised box.”

Quarter of Moonpig’s capital will be available for trading

An IPO refers to the process of offering shares of a private company to the public for the first time, such as to institutional investors and retail investors. The company undergoing the IPO decides how many shares it wants to sell, and investment banks will then suggest an initial price based on predicted demand.

Once a company enters the share market, share prices fluctuate. However, it is uncertain that a retailer will be successful after floating shares.

Entrepreneur’s network Tech Nation head Gerard Grech said that Moonpig’s float “marks the beginning of an IPO campaign for 2021 and the golden age for UK tech.

“This signals the credibility of the UK to build on its position as a world leader and become the preferred location to IPO companies on the London Stock Exchange, even after Brexit.”

Moonpig is not alone in planning to offer shares through an IPO. Many retailers are now looking to take advantage of the process since the rollout of the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine has caused optimism in the stock market. For example, footwear retailer Dr Martens also revealed plans earlier this month to float a possible £3bn on the market.

Other companies expected to publicly list shares in the coming months includes Deliveroo, cyber-security firm Darktrace and online review site Trustpilot.