Watches of Switzerland IPO set to open fully as share price falls 1%

Watches of Switzerland will fully open its IPO after its debut on the London Stock Exchange last week.

Watches of Switzerland’s shares are set to openly trade days after conditional trading started for the UK luxury watch retailer. Watches of Switzerland’s share price slightly dropped after an initial better-than-expected debut on the London Stock Exchange.

Watches of Switzerland’s shares rose after trading debut

Watches of Switzerland is owned by US private equity company Apollo Global Management and is the largest UK seller of luxury timepiece brands like Rolex. Under the leadership of chief executive officer (CEO), Brian Duffy, Watches of Switzerland’s sales have grown to make up 35% of luxury watch sales in the UK. The corporation’s 2018 revenue surged 22.5% to £773 million.

The luxury timepiece firm listed its shares at 270p with a valuation nearing £650 million. Since last week, Watches of Switzerland shares have jumped as high as 17%.

Duffy spoke in a statement about Watches of Switzerland’s impressive stock debut.

‘It’s been great. We [Watches of Switzerland] more or less went up 14 or 15%, and we’ve been as high as 17% up. Today’s listing marks the next phase in our growth story. I am delighted by the reaction we have received from the market to our business and the significant opportunities that lie ahead,’ said Duffy.

What’s next for Watches of Switzerland?

Duffy noted that Watches of Switzerland will use its future IPO profits to eliminate debt.

‘The first use of its net proceed will be to pay down debts,’ said Duffy.

‘We [Watches of Switzerland] had a level of debt that is acceptable in a private ownership scenario but is clearly not the kind of level of debt you would carry in a public environment so £155 million of what we raise just went to pay down debt and that is the biggest single thing that has happened to our financial structure overall,’ added Duffy.

With upcoming high-profile IPO launches from companies like railway ticket app Trainline, Watches of Switzerland's stock will be closely monitored by investors.

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