is reporting that French surfwear company Oxbox SA is expected to float an IPO to raise funds to help it combat Quiksilver’s rapid growth in Europe. The company is reportedly expected to raise €12 million to €15 million in the offering.

The float, prepared by Fortis Bank and San Paolo IMI SpA, is expected to occur in July, “if market conditions permit”.

Management partnered with Argos Soditic in a €36 million buyout of the company from CVC Capital Partners in December 2003. CVC took its majority interest in 1996. Oxbow chairman Dominique de La Tournelle, who joined the company in 2001, led the MBO which saw Argos take an 80% equity position and management maintaining a 20% stake.

Oxbow reportedly had revenues of €76.2 million in 2003, generating a 10% operating profit margin. said De La Tournelle expects the new cash to help Oxbow to reach sales of €100 million “in the near future”. They expect to open 10 to 14 retail stores in France and accelerate sales in Britain and Spain, according to the report in