Finance

Parent company Blokker and Intertoys cancels IPO for the time being

Mirage announced this on Friday afternoon. Due to the strict corona measures for retail and uncertainty about the future, according to CEO Michiel Witteveen, now is not the right time, he says. “These are strange times. We just don’t know what’s hanging over our heads.”

While the month of December should be the best month of the year because of Sinterklaas and Christmas, the shops have to close at 17:00 already. “Normally we are open every evening at this time until 9 p.m. and that is not possible now,” he explains. “This just costs a lot of turnover.”

Peace and stability

Mirage said it was already well on its way with the preparations for the IPO. It should have happened next year. Last summer, the retail company announced that the stock exchange plans were on track.

But according to Witteveen, Mirage now mainly benefits from peace and stability, so an IPO is now not a good idea. “An IPO costs a lot of time and money. We now want to focus on the business,” said the entrepreneur. “The company comes first and not the IPO.”

That is why Witteveen will remain on as chairman of the board for the time being. At the end of September, Mirage announced that chairman of the board Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg would take over from him from February 2022. That decision is therefore also postponed for the time being.

No crystal ball

Witteveen does not dare to say whether postponement will also lead to cancellation. “We have to start living a normal life again,” he says. “When this will all be over, no one knows. I can’t see into a crystal ball.”

At the beginning of 2019, Witteveen took over Blokker Holding from the Blokker family, and renamed the company Mirage. Since then, he has divested and bought a few chain stores. For example, last year he took over the white goods stores of BCC from the French Fnac. In contrast, it recently parted ways with Big Bazar.

In mid-October, Coolblue also announced that it was postponing its planned IPO. The web store then cited the uncertainty in the financial markets as the reason. According to CEO Pieter Zwart, the situation means that investors are hesitant regarding IPOs in the online store industry.

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