November 6, 2017 / 5:57 PM / in a month

Expanding Portuguese toymaker Science4You eyes IPO

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s small but fast-growing educational toymaker Science4You is considering an initial public offering while it seeks to keep boosting sales by over 30 percent a year, its CEO said.

Science4You sells most of its products outside of Portugal, both online via Amazon, and through many outlets of major retailers like Target, Harrods and John Lewis.

“It will still be a bit before we get there, but this (an IPO) is on our minds and we want to work on that very persistently,” Miguel Pina Martins told Reuters on Monday, the day his firm received 10 million euros in financing from the European Investment Bank.

He would not say when that could happen.

    Portugal’s IPO scene has been in a dry spell for most of the past nine years amid the country’s economic problems, with the exception of the late 2013 launch of shares in postal company CTT.(CTT.LS).

    Set up in 2008, Science4You plans to finish this year with sales of over 21 million euros, a huge jump from 6 million euros two years ago, when it made a 7 million euro capital increase backed up by venture capital firms.

    This time around, the hybrid debt and equity financing by EIB gives the bank the right to an eight percent stake in Science4You, which now hopes to accelerate e-commerce sales, including via Amazon, expand its plant in Portugal and create new products. It will double the plant’s staff to 600 people.

    The company, which exports over 60 percent of its sales, makes educational kits such as Soap Factory or Sweet Factory, various build-and-play models from dinosaurs to cars, microscopes and telescopes, as well as small drones.

    Reporting By Daniel Alvarenga, writing by Andrei Khalip, editing by David Evans

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