DFS is the UK’s leading retailer of upholstered furniture with over 100 stores and a market share in excess of 25%. Private equity firm Advent International invested in the business in 2010 alongside management who acquired a 15% equity participation.
Having established a strong track record over their period of ownership, Advent sought to exit the business via an IPO in 2015. As with the majority of IPOs, the transaction would only provide a partial exit for the selling private equity firm.
PPCF were appointed to advise the management shareholders on the flotation process. PPCF’s role had a number of different aspects including ensuring management’s objectives were properly represented in the process; considering the impact on management of the steps required to deliver the flotation; and advising on key management terms including sell down percentage and post-IPO equity incentives.
DFS Finance Director Bill Barnes commented that “Whilst there are numerous advisors involved in a flotation it is easy for management’s position to be overlooked. PPCF’s independent, objective and constructive approach was extremely helpful in these circumstances. They ensured that we fully understood the implications of the process and represented our interests alongside those of the other stakeholders.”