Monday, July 15, 2024

Fast-fashion firm Shein may abandon London IPO – report

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Robert Way

Chinese fast-fashion platform Shein may scrap an initial public offering in London over how the retailer is being recently portrayed in the UK.

A series of criticisms levelled at Shein has annoyed some in the upper parts of the Chinese government, according to a report in Mail on Sunday, which cited unidentified senior City sources. Beijing authorities may now put pressure on Shein to list in Hong Kong instead of London, a source added.

The retailer has been criticized by the British Fashion Council, which is similar to its U.S., counterpart, the National Retail Federation. That critique from the NRF n the U.S. was reportedly one of the reasons why Shein decided to abandon the US for an IPO and choose London instead. Shein has been criticized in the UK and the U.S. over its dependence on third-party contract suppliers and accusations surrounding the use of forced labor.

Shein declined to comment to the Mail on Sunday.

Some major shareholders of the Shein are said to have lost patience with the firm’s fundraising plans and are asking Shein to consider buying back their shares, according to a separate report in the South China Morning Post on Friday, which cited one person briefed on the matter.

The latest update comes after reports, including from Sky News Financial Times and Reuters, that Shein was preparing to file a prospectus with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority for approval ahead of a planned £50B London listing this month.

A potential London IPO comes after Bloomberg report in February that Shein was considering switching its IPO to London from New York because of regulatory issues with a US listing. Bloomberg reported in January that Shein investors were trying to sell shares in private market deals at valuations of $45B to $55B, down from a valuation of $66B from a fundraising in May.

Shein confidentially filed for an IPO in the US in November. The fast-fashion firm is facing increased competition from PDD Holdings’ (NASDAQ:PDD) Temu.

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