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J.Crew’s Madewell IPO Could be Sooner Than Later

J.Crew Group Inc. said in April that it was considering an initial public offering for its Madewell concept, and now there are indications the IPO could be closer to fruition.

The specialty chain said earlier this year that an IPO for Madewell, if it were to proceed, would occur in the second half of 2019. Many industry observers on the financial side at the time were thinking an IPO would be a foregone conclusion, as that would help J.Crew pay down some of its debt, which is upward of $1.6 billion.

Madewell, according to J. Crew’s first quarter earnings report in May, is a healthy brand that’s seeing continued growth, compared with the company’s troubled J.Crew brand. Revenues reported included a 14.7 percent increase in Madewell sales to $132.9 million, but a 4 percent decrease in sales at its core J. Crew brand. And Madewell comps grew 10 percent on top of a 31 percent increase a year ago, while J. Crew comps slipped 1 percent on top of the 6 percent decline last year.

J.Crew has reportedly hired several bankers for the Madewell IPO, including Goldman Sachs, according to a report in Reuters, which also said the IPO is expected after the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. in September.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman on Thursday declined comment.