Outdoor Gear Retailer Kathmandu To Go Public

Outdoor gear retailer Kathmandu announced yesterday their plans to go public through a share market float on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges, expected to be worth up to $375 million. The Company will offer between 167 million and 197 million shares to retail investors at a price somewhere between $1.65 and $1.90 per share.

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Outdoor gear retailer Kathmandu announced yesterday their plans to go public through a share market float on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges, expected to be worth up to $375 million. The Company will offer between 167 million and 197 million shares to retail investors at a price somewhere between $1.65 and $1.90 per share.

Earlier this month, Kathmandu appointed new Chairman Mr James Strong, also Chairman of Woolworths Limited, to help prepare for the float. Current owners, Private Equity houses Goldman Sachs JBWere and Quadrant, who bought out the Company in 2006, may plan to sell-off their whole stake or maintain up to 15% of the listed company, with Kathmandu management to hold 1.3%.

Kathmandu was started over 21 years ago and now has over 80 stores spread across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The first store for the Company was on Hardware Street in Melbourne, Australia- at that time the mecca for outdoor gear retailers. Soon after starting, the Company began opening similar outdoor gear stores across three countries and moved their headquarters to Christchurch, New Zealand where it remains today. 

Much like outdoor gear retailers REI, Eastern Mountain Sports and even now Backcountry, Kathmandu is a vertically integrated business with a significant portion of products they sell being own brand. Being a vertical outdoor gear retailer makes for fatter margins through a combination of wholesale and retail, and thus more appealing to investors. 

This float, though happening Down Under, is a positive indicator for outdoor gear retailers and the outdoor industry in general. 

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