Shein turns its back on New York steaming ahead with £53bn London listing plan

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Shein, the Chinese-founded online fast-fashion retailer, is reportedly accelerating its plans for a record-breaking £53 billion float in London.

The decision to list in London comes after the company turned away from New York amid tensions between China and the US.

The company, based in Singapore, is expected to update China’s securities regulator on the change of stock market venue and file its intention to float in London as soon as this month, according to sources. While the timing is considered optimistic, the company aims to complete the London float by the end of the year.

Shein’s founder, Sky Xu, and executive chair, Donald Tang, have visited London recently to discuss the plans, reportedly receiving a warm reception from UK officials. Bankers at JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley are said to be working on the float, which could yield a fee bonanza of at least $600 million if successful.

The potential listing would provide a boost to London’s stock exchange, which has faced challenges in attracting companies compared to other exchanges like New York and Amsterdam. The FTSE 100 recently closed at a record high, indicating improving appetite for London-listed shares.

However, a London float for Shein would likely face controversy, particularly from environmental campaigners concerned about fast fashion’s impact on waste. Despite preparing for a London listing, Shein reportedly still prefers New York and will continue efforts to overcome political hurdles there.

Shein’s rapid growth since its founding in 2012 has been significant, with the company reporting substantial profits and a large customer base. It moved its operations to Singapore in 2022, seen as an attempt to distance itself from its Chinese origins.

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