The VAT refund giant which pioneered the concept of tax-free shopping has picked advisers to steer it towards a flotation that will have major stock exchanges around the world scrambling to secure its listing.
Sky News has learnt that Global Blue, which is controlled by the investment funds Silver Lake and Partners Group, has lined up Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to work on an initial public offering (IPO).
A flotation would be expected to value Global Blue at well over £3bn, although a precise valuation is unclear.
The company’s owners want to take advantage of an explosion in demand from international shoppers for its services, which include tax-free retailing in more than 300,000 shops globally.
Global Blue also provides a currency conversion service enabling merchants to offer customers the choice of paying for goods in their domestic currency when travelling abroad.
Sources said that the company’s owners were expected to consider a listing in London, New York or Asia, with Chinese consumers accounting for a growing share of Global Blue’s revenues.
It recently acquired a stake in EuroPass, which has a tie-up with the Chinese social media platform WeChat.
In total, Global Blue operates in 51 countries and employs 1,900 people.
According to the company, it powered 32 million tax-free shopping transactions in the year to March, as well as 21.5 million currency conversion transactions – equating to an overall value of €20.5bn in sales.
A Global Blue spokesman declined to comment on Monday.