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Perfume retailer Douglas plans to launch IPO in coming days, sources say

FILE PHOTO: People pass in front of Douglas Holding AG perfume shop at a shopping mall in Magdeburg

By Matthias Inverardi, Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro and Emma-Victoria Farr

DUSSELDORF/LONDON (Reuters) - German perfume retailer Douglas plans to announce it is proceeding with an initial public offering (IPO) in the coming days, two people familiar with the matter said, in a test for Europe's equity markets.

The group, majority-owned by CVC Capital Partners, is preparing to issue an intention to float on the Frankfurt bourse as soon as this week if markets hold up, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

However, there is a chance the announcement may slip to next Monday, as no final decision has been made, one of them added.

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There is a raft of macro-economic data expected this week, including U.S. inflation figures on Thursday, that could move markets.

Investment banks will begin to formally canvass investors following the intention to float announcement to define a valuation range for the share sale.

Reuters previously reported that Douglas aimed to go public by the end of March.

Spokespeople for the IPO declined to comment.

An announcement would come amid improving sentiment towards new stock listings after the successful IPOs of German defence contractor Renk and Athens International Airport earlier this month.

Growing consensus that interest rates have topped out has created a brighter backdrop for equity markets, while the CBOE Volatility Index - known as Wall Street's fear gauge - remains at levels that bankers see as conducive for IPOs.

Besides Douglas, there are least four other major IPOs pencilled in for the first half of the year, sources have told Reuters.

(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro and Emma-Victoria Farr; Editing by Elisa Martinuzzi and Mark Potter)