UK-based discount retailer Poundland is understood to have started the process to float on the stock exchange early next year.

According to The Daily Telegraph, private-equity owner Warburg Pincus is looking to raise between GBP200m (US$323m) and GBP300m from the IPO, which has been rumoured for months. This would value the retailer at between GBP700m and GBP800m.

In May, Warburg Pincus was reported to be looking at a sale, although Poundland declined to comment on the speculation.

A spokesperson for Poundland, however, declined to comment on the latest report.

The 450-store group, which Warbug Pincus acquired from fellow private-equity outfit Advent International for GBP200m in 2010, is looking to expand. 

Last month, the group said it was finalising plans to take its Dealz banner, launched in Ireland in 2011, into more markets in Europe.

In the year to the end of March, Poundland booked higher profits on the back of higher sales. Profit was up 59.1% at just under GBP17m. Operating profit climbed 13.7% to GBP35.3m.

Total sales were up 15% at GBP880m.