Online watch marketplace Chrono24 explores stock market listing -sources

Credit: REUTERS/Reuters Staff

Chrono24 is exploring a stock market listing in a deal that could value the online marketplace for luxury watches at 1-1.5 billion euros, people close to the matter said.

By Arno Schuetze

FRANKFURT, May 12 (Reuters) - Chrono24 is exploring a stock market listing in a deal that could value the online marketplace for luxury watches at 1-1.5 billion euros ($1.2-1.8 billion), people close to the matter said.

Headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, the profitable company is expected to hire advisers this year for a potential initial public offering expected to take place in 2022, they said.

Timing and valuation are subject to market conditions, the people said, adding that while a merger with a blank check company was also a possibility, this route was seen as less likely.

Chrono24 declined to comment.

Chrono24's platform has 500,000 listings from 3,000 commercial dealers and 20,000 private sellers of new and pre-owned luxury watches, which are sold at an average price of $9,000.

In 2020, watches worth 2 billion euros were sold via its platform and its revenue figures increased by more than 50%. It employs 360 staff.

Luxury watch brands, which had long considered the market for second-hand watches as a potential threat to their business, are shifting their view as they see it can provide valuable insights into pricing and demand.

Chrono24, which competes with platforms such as WatchBox and Richemont-owned Watchfinder, could seek a listing as early as the third quarter, but could also wait until next year to wait for the important Christmas season to be reflected in its figures, one of the sources said.

The company, founded in 2003, has helped the sector consolidate in recent years by buying up smaller peers. It is backed by investors including Insight Partners, Sprints Capital and Mirae.

To prepare the company for a potential IPO, Chrono24 recently hired its first chief financial officer, Stephan Kniewasser, a former Teamviewer TMV.DE manager, who helped prepare the German remote connectivity software company go public in 2019.

($1 = 0.8249 euros)

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Jason Neely)

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