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British Retail Brand Fat Face Eyes $185M IPO

The company also said Thursday that it plans to expand into the U.S.

Inside view of a Fat Face store in London.

LONDON — Fat Face, the British lifestyle and outdoor clothing brand and retailer, said Thursday it plans to proceed with an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange that could raise up to 110 million pounds, or $185 million. The IPO will comprise an offer of at least 25 percent of its shares to institutional investors.

The brand, which is owned by private equity group Bridgepoint, indicated in January that it was considering an IPO. The company also said Thursday that it plans to expand into the U.S.

“Since 2010, we have delivered strong financial growth, and we believe that we have created a firm foundation for continued expansion within the U.K., as well as laying down some initial plans for a controlled trial to take the brand to the United States,” said Anthony Thompson, chief executive officer of Fat Face.

The brand said the aim of the IPO is to reduce its debt.

Fat Face is a midmarket clothing, footwear and accessories brand aimed primarily at families with an outdoor lifestyle.

Products are designed and developed through an integrated model, by Fat Face’s U.K.-based in-house design, buying, merchandising and sourcing teams, and are produced by third-party manufacturers, according to the company.

Fat Face was founded in 1988, and the group opened its first U.K. store in 1992. Bridgepoint purchased Fat Face in 2007, in a deal valuing the company at 540 million euros, or $740 million, at average exchange rates for that year.

The group markets and sells its products through 208 stores across the U.K. and Ireland, an e-commerce site and wholesale and concession agreements with retail partners.

In the 2013 financial year, sales were 178.8 million pounds, or $279 million, up 8.6 percent on a like-for-like basis. The company said that in the 35 weeks to Feb. 1, year-on-year revenue was up 12.4 percent.

The company’s chairman is Sir Stuart Rose, former chairman and ceo at Marks & Spencer Group, while Thompson is a former head of ASDA’s George clothing division.