It's now strongly expected there will be an initial public offering for Halfords in the second quarter of the year.

Halfords IPO likely as CVC appoints Merrill Lynch and Citigroup

It’s been known for some time that CVC wanted to offload Halfords – for a whopping profit – but today Reuters has reported that "sources familiar with the company" have named the banks that will lead any IPO.

Valuations for the 400-store bicycle and auto accessory retailer have ranged from £600m to £1bn.

The company could also still be sold. Private equity groups have often recently asked banks to prepare for an IPO while looking for buyers, said the Reuters story.

Halfords was bought by CVC from Boots for £427m in July 2002.

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