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Luxe Retailer Farfetch Seems on IPO Path

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It doesn’t seem out of the question that U.K. online retailer Farfetch could be headed for an initial public offering and stock market listing.

A report this weekend from Sky News said the luxury e-commerce merchant is moving ahead with plans for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange that could value it at up to $5 billion, and an IPO could take place within 18 months.

A spokeswoman for Farfetch said on Monday that the company had no comment.

Farfetch offers hundreds of fashion labels and independent boutiques the opportunity to sell from its digital platforms, including assistance in back office functions.

In April, Farfetch teamed up with Gucci to get shoppers their luxe gear in 90 minutes or less thanks to its latest future-looking partnership.

As part of the partnership, shoppers in London, New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Paris, Sao Paolo and Tokyo will be able to buy certain Gucci goods from the Farfetch website and app and have those goods delivered to their door within 90 minutes.

(Read More about Farfetch and its quick delivery: Gucci and Farfetch Partnership Promises 90-Minute Order Delivery)

Farfetch bowed in 2008 and has raised funding from various sources, most recently from Singapore state investment fund Temasek Holdings, which last year was said to invest roughly $110 million in the business.

“An IPO is something we may consider in the future, but we are currently focusing on growing the business, with investors that fully support a business plan of investing to build the technology platform for the global luxury industry,” Jose Neves, Farfetch’s chief executive officer, told Sky News.

Farfetch employs more than 1,200 people in about a dozen countries, with China now among its largest markets for sales.

Earlier this year, Farfetch named Natalie Massenet, founder of luxury goods retailer Net-a-Porter, as its non-executive co-chairman, which was seen as part of the preparations for a public listing.

Farfetch’s other shareholders are said to include China’s IDG Holdings, France’s Eurazeo and London-based private equity form Vitruvian Partners.

In April, the company announced its Store of the Future concept, an operating system for physical retail that aims to improve productivity by capturing customer data and enhancing human interactions between shoppers and sales associates.

Market reports indicate that Farfetch lost roughly $40 million last year, with gross sales of $800 million, a 60 percent increase from 2015, with estimated annual revenues in the area of $150 million.

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