Time Out looks to float

Time Out looks to float

A leading media group which started off in London as a one-sheet pamphlet displaying local event listings in 1968 is set for a stock market flotation in a move reportedly set to value the firm at up to £225m.

Media group Time Out, which has expanded from a listings magazine into a global digital media and e-commerce group in recent years, expects to list on the London junior Aim market in mid-June.

It is understood that a raft of top city fund managers are lining up to buy shares in Time Out , including renowned investor Neil Woodford.

The initial public offering (IPO) is expected to value the group at between £185m and £225m.

Time Out wants to raise £90m by selling new shares to fund expansion of its food markets business and pay down debt, according to reports.

Former Marks & Spencer boss Lord Rose, who is already a director of Time Out's food market arm, is lined up to join the board of the company when it lists.

Time Out's founder Tony Elliott and Christine Petersen, a former chief marketing officer of online travel business TripAdvisor, are also set to become non-executive directors.

Elliott founded Time Out as a London entertainment and culture magazine in 1968, but the firm is now a global brand with magazines, apps and websites, while it has also launched a successful food markets business.

It opened its first food market in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2014, which now attracts up to 60,000 customers a week, and the group is understood to want to use some of the flotation proceeds to expand this to other cities.

Time Out axed the cover price for its listings magazine in London in September 2012 and is also now free in Chicago and New York - a move which helped boost its circulation.

It claims to reach an audience of more than 100 million people across all its channels, including the magazine, web, mobile apps, live events and markets.