By Arno Schuetze and Oliver Hirt
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Switzerland's Chronext is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the online marketplace for new and pre-owned luxury watches at up to 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), people close to the matter said.
Luxury watch brands, which had long considered the market for second-hand watches as a potential threat to their business, have been shifting their stance in light of the insights it can provide on pricing and demand.
Chronext's planned IPO in Zurich is expected to take place in September but could be brought forward to July if market conditions allow, the sources told Reuters.
The company and its owners are working on the listing with banks including UBS and Bank of America, with Evercore acting as IPO advisor, they said.
Chronext and the banks declined to comment.
The fast-growing marketplace, backers of which include NRW.Bank, Inventure Partners, TEV Ventures and Octopus Ventures, has annual sales of more than 100 million euros. In its core German market, sales role by 25% in 2020.
Rivals such as Farfetch trade at about 5 times expected full-year sales.
Investors often value fast-growing e-commerce companies on expected future revenue numbers.
Chronext is expected to be valued on its 2022 and 2023 forecast sales, the sources said. If the company's growth continues at the current pace, sales could exceed 200 million euros in 2023, one of the sources said.
Rival Chrono24 is also exploring a potential stock market listing, people close to the matter said last week.
($1 = 0.8285 euros)
(Editing by David Goodman)