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Liberty of London plans float

London luxury department store Liberty is preparing for a public float.

Liberty of London, founded in 1875, is owned by private equity company BlueGem which bought the business five years ago for £32 million.

BlueGem CEO Marco Capello says sales is expected to reach £145 million this year, compared with £132 million last year.

Footfall in the historic Regent St store rose five per cent and the store is profitable after a long, arduous turnaround program led by BlueGem.

“The company was losing money for many years in a row and was not in a good shape,” said Capello in an interview.

“The ultimate goal is to float the company. It’s one of the great British brands and we have no intention of selling it.”

BlueGem has other retail interests, including mother and baby chain Mamas & Papas.

UK news media are reporting BlueGem is eyeing a big for menswear retailer Ben Sherman.

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