Private members’ club Soho House plans to float on NYSE

Soho House is to float on the New York Stock Exchange at a potential valuation of $3bn (£2.2bn), as the private members’ club seeks to take advantage of a post-pandemic global business recovery.

The company – which owns 28 Soho Houses worldwide and a clutch of other businesses including Soho Works, Soho Home, The Ned and Scorpios Beach Club – has contacted its more than 100,000 members worldwide offering them the chance to purchase shares.

The company, which intends to float under the name Membership Collective Group, was valued at $2bn after a $100m financing round last year.

However, the group is hoping that any recovery in the leisure sector thanks to widespread vaccination programmes will mean it can command a higher valuation when details of the flotation are announced in the coming months.

“This move will enable us to accelerate our investment in improving both the physical and digital elements of your membership,” Nick Jones, who founded Soho House in 1995, told members.

The club, which is backed by the US billionaire Ron Burkle, who has about a 60% stake, contacted its membership base on Monday.

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“As a member, you’ve been an essential part of our journey so far,” the company said in an email. “If the initial public offering proceeds, we’d like to offer you the opportunity to take part in this next chapter.”

Richard Caring, who owns restaurants including The Ivy, has a stake of about 30% while Jones has about a 10% stake.

The group, which aims to use funds raised from the listing to boost its footprint to 46 Soho House sites globally by 2023, will offer a fixed amount of shares that each member can buy, which will be revealed closer to the flotation.

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Despite its finances being hit by the pandemic in 2020, it managed to retain 92% of Soho House members. Annual fees are in excess of £1,000 a year and it had a waiting list of 48,000 applicants at the start of the year.

But revenues almost halved last year, from $642m to $384m, and the business recorded a $235m loss.

In the first quarter of the new financial year losses widened from $45m to $93m as coronavirus restrictions stopped it opening its UK sites. Revenues were $72m, down from $142m in the same period last year.


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