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Children's Store May Buy Competitor Before IPO

A young boy trying to pick out a toy with his mother. D.Abramov

Billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's conglomerate Sistema is looking to double the business volume of its childen's retail chain Detsky Mir ahead of a possible IPO.

Sistema is currently negotiating the purchase of Concept Group, owner of the 170-store women's apparel chain Concept Club, the 80-outlet children's retail chain Acoola and Infinity Lingerie, an online shop specializing in women's lingerie.

The total price of Concept Group is estimated at 2.5 billion rubles ($76 million), Kommersant reported.

Representatives of Concept Group declined to comment and Sistema's press service said the company has been considering a few purchases but denied any "serious negotiating process" was under way.

Concept Group's combined revenue in 2011 was 3 billion rubles.

It was not immediately clear whether the Concept Club brand will become part of Detsky Mir or will continue to develop separately.

Yevtushenkov told Bloomberg that Sistema would like to prepare Children's World for an IPO by 2015. He added that the company planned to double its business volume by that time, both through internal development and by mergers.

Detsky Mir operates more than 200 large stores in 99 cities across Russia and Kazakhstan, Moscow's luxury children's store Yakimanka and 22 early learning centers. Its revenue in 2012 was 27.75 billion rubles with 37 billion rubles forecast for this year.

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