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Office's owner taps advisers to explore 300 million pound sale or float

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Changes are rumored to around the corner for high street footwear retailer Office,

as the shoe chain may see itself in the hands of a new owner, or enjoying a stock market debut as early as next year.

According to the Telegraph, Silverfleet Capital, private equity firm and parent company of Office, have appointed investment bank JP Morgan to advise on the potential sale or float of the footwear chain.

The exploration of a future IPO or sale comes as Office continues its European expansion. Earlier this year, the footwear retailer opened its first standalone stores in Dusseldorf, Oberhausen and Bonn, Germany and now the retailer is set to open its fourth store in Hamburg this week, marking its first full-scale foray overseas.

Office was acquired by Silverfleet in December 2010 from West Coast Capital, the private investment fund owned by Scottish billionaire Sir Tom Hunter, for a little under 150 million pounds. Four years later, the footwear retailer is now thought to valued at 300 million pounds.

Office currently has 108 standalone stores and 52 concessions, located in premium department stores such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Topshop, which generated a five percent increase in turnover, to 256 million pounds, over the last year. However, due to difficult trading conditions over the spring, the footwear retailer witnessed its full-year profits decline to 34 million pounds.

JP Morgan
Office
Silverfleet Capital