Billionaire Barclay family hatch £3bn IPO listing for booming The Very Group

If the owners’ plans go ahead, it would mark the first occasion a Barclay-owned business is available to the public markets

The billionaire owners of online shopping retailer The Very Group have begun exploring an initial public offering (IPO), according to Sky News.

The Barclay family, who are also the proprietors of The Daily Telegraph, are said to be in the early stages of discussions that would take Very to public investors, as interest in digital retailers booms due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If the owners go ahead, Very’s flotation could fetch upwards of £3bn for the online business and it would mark the first occasion in which a Barclay-owned business has been available to public equity markets.

Sources close to the family said talks had begun before the unexpected death of David Barclay earlier this month, who, along with his twin Frederick, built their vast but private business empire.

The British businessmen are most famous as the owners of delivery service Yodel and (until last year) London’s Ritz Hotel.

Since 2020, the Barcalys’ e-commerce business has ramped up its cosmetics offering in an effort to compete with pure-play beauty retailers and to support the 80% growth in its beauty and fragrance category.

To date, the group offers more than 800 beauty skus for shoppers, from Benefit Cosmetics and L’Occitane to Philip Kingsley and Pixi, all of which joined the retailer’s online shop last year.

Meanwhile, 2020 marked another momentous year for the group owner of very.co.uk and littlewoods.com after it reported revenues of £2bn, a first for the year.

Cosmetics Business has contacted Very for comment.


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