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Chronext resets IPO plans for 2023 listing – sources

Chronext, a Swiss luxury watch trading platform, is exploring the possibility of an IPO in 2H this year if market conditions improve, three sources familiar with the situation told this news service.

The company could tap new advisers to handle the listing, the sources added.

Chronext is also keen on strategic M&A, said one of the sources, and seeks to benefit from a recovery in the luxury market after the reopening of China and a general sales recovery from the worst of the pandemic.

The company has ambitions to enhance growth in Europe, the US and Asia, said the same source.

A Swiss listing is still the most likely scenario, said another source, due to the relevance of the market for the watch industry.

The renewed enthusiasm around the asset also comes off the back of the Watches and Wonders trade show this week in Geneva, marking the return of the industry’s largest gathering after the pandemic, the same source said.

IPO clock

There has been a boom in second-hand luxury watch purchases, driven by younger generations buying timepieces online, adding to the attractiveness of its equity story, said a third source.

A potential IPO could value the business over EUR 1bn, the sources agreed.

Founded in 2013, Chronext generated sales of more than EUR 100m in 2019.

A spokesperson previously responded citing CEO Philipp Man, who said given the market environment it was still hard to pinpoint a window to IPO. 

Chronext did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Chronext is not the only watches trading platform pondering an IPO. ECM advisers are waiting to pitch for bookrunner roles on the IPO of Chrono24, the other German online marketplace for luxury watches, and are hopeful of a deal later this year, as reported.

Advisers are circling Chrono24 in anticipation of a deal between the second half of 2023 and early 2024, with bookrunner roles still up for grabs, as reported. The company, appointed JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs last year, has already conducted pre-work for an IPO, as reported.

One example of a recent ECM success in the sector is UK firm Watches of Switzerland [LON:WOSG] which listed in 2019 in a GBP 242m London listing and is trading 189% above its IPO price.

There have been four trades in the company since its UK IPO, according to Dealogic data.