Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

Moonpig sale possible

Owners hire Goldman Sachs to run auction process, despite City hopes for a stock market listing

THE FIRM that owns online greetings card website Moonpig have hired advisers to run an auction for possible sale despite plans for a stock market listing.

The Daily Telegraph reported that a clutch of private equity firms are considering buying online photo specialists Photobox, who also sell personalised cards, mugs and gifts under a collection of brands including Moonpig, PaperShaker, Sticky9 and Hoffman.
The newspaper said Photobox are understood to have quietly hired advisers at Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs to run an auction that could see the company fetch between £400million and £450m, despite working on plans for a stock market listing.
City sources told the Telegraph several bidders, thought to include US buyout groups TPG and KKR, have already lodged firm interest. A sale will provide an opportunity for Photobox’s venture capitalist backers Insight Venture Partners, Index Ventures and Highland Capital Partners to cash out.
A string of big UK companies have opted to sell-out rather than float on the stock market in recent months. Center Parcs, Trainline and United Biscuits have all sold themselves this year in multi-million-pound deals despite spending months working on listing plans.
Last year Photobox hired JP Morgan, Jefferies and Numis to explore a possible £500m flotation and last month, they fuelled expectations of moving ahead with the plans when heavyweight City figure Douglas McCallum, former boss of eBay Europe, was hired as non-executive chairman.
It is thought Photobox chief executive Stan Laurent, pictured, is keen to remain leading the business having previously talked about striving towards a £600m ($1billion) valuation target – Photobox reported sales of £175.3m and underlying earnings of £19.8m for 2014.

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