Shein prepares for £50bn UK float kickoff

### Shein Plans to Sell Shares on London Stock Exchange

Shein, the fast fashion giant whose popularity surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, is considering selling shares in the business on the London Stock Exchange. The Chinese firm is expected to file the necessary paperwork as early as this week, potentially valuing the company at $66 billion. Shein’s success is attributed to its vast selection of affordable clothing, coupled with collaborations with social media influencers, making it one of the largest fashion retailers globally.

Despite its commercial achievements, Shein has faced criticism for its environmental practices and allegations of forced labor within its supply chain. The company has not provided any comments regarding these issues. As a result, Shein is exploring the UK as a potential market for selling its shares, following obstacles and intense scrutiny in the US, where it filed documents last November. Concerns raised by US lawmakers about Shein’s ties to China amidst escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing have also influenced the company’s decision.

### Potential Boost for UK Financial Industry

Choosing the UK over the US for a share listing could significantly benefit the City of London. A UK share listing generates substantial business for the financial services sector, which accounts for over 10% of the UK’s economy. As several firms have opted for the US instead, the UK government has been striving to enhance its attractiveness for companies looking to go public. Shein may initiate the process by filing a prospectus with the Financial Conduct Authority this week or later in June, as a prerequisite for selling shares on the London Stock Exchange.

While the filing of a prospectus is a crucial first step, it does not guarantee the successful completion of a public offering. Shein may encounter challenges due to allegations surrounding its business practices, including claims of forced labor in its supply chain. The company has asserted its commitment to eradicating forced labor and improving working conditions. Despite these efforts, a recent report indicated that workers at some of Shein’s suppliers are still working excessively long hours, prompting the company to address these concerns.

### Regulatory Hurdles and Executive Chairman’s Efforts

Shein’s executive chairman, Donald Tang, an American citizen and former banker, has engaged with UK officials to explore the possibility of listing in London after facing resistance from US regulators and lawmakers. The decision to pursue a London listing will ultimately depend on regulatory approval, with potential controversies surrounding the process. Shein’s commitment to addressing labor issues and enhancing conditions will be closely monitored as it navigates the complexities of going public in the UK market.

Original Story at – 2024-06-03 12:44:39

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