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AO.com confirms plans to float in March

AFTER months of speculation fast-growing online appliance retailer AO.com has confirmed its intention to float in March.

The Bolton-based company wants to raise £60m on the London Stock Exchange's main market - there had been speculation that its valuation could be as high as £1.2bn - and says it will use the funding to support further growth, including expansion into Europe.

AO, which had a turnover of £275.5m to the end of March 2013, with an EBITDA of £10.7m, has a 24% share of the online market for major domestic appliances in the UK, of which 5% come from third-party branded website sales.

The company controls its entire customer experience from online purchase through to delivery, with its price matching and same or next day delivery service being two of its major unique selling points.

John Roberts, co-founder and chief executive of AO, said: “AO comes to market with a leading customer proposition that I believe will appeal to the consumers of both today and tomorrow. We aim to put the customer first in everything we do and are fanatical about offering customers amazing service and competitive pricing.

“AO has a strong track record of revenue growth and profitability and I am excited about the opportunities ahead as we continue to grow our new AO.com brand.

"We are exploring opportunities to expand the range of products and services that we offer and to internationalise our business. I believe these initiatives have the potential to deliver a significant change in terms of our addressable market and that a London listing will give us the platform to continue to grow our business. Ultimately, it is our ambition to be a leading European online electrical retailer."

DRL Holdings Ltd, which trades as AO, will be re-registered and renamed as AO plc following the listing.

Bod Buckby and a team from NM Rothschild are advising AO in the process.

Source : Joanne Birtwistle - TheBusinessDesk.com www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/575821-ao.com-to-raise-60m-on-main-market.html

07 February 2014
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