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UK DIY News floatation will earn management team and investors 363m

THE investors and management team of AO, the Bolton-based online white goods retailer are to share up to £363m from the forthcoming stock market flotation, it emerged today.

The company expects to achieve a market valuation of £1.2bn with its shares priced between £235p to 285p. At the higher end of this range AO will raise some £423m.

Founder John Robers, senior management and the angel investors who backed the business in the early years will sell £363m worth of shares, while a further £60m will be raised from the sale of new shares.

The selling shareholders will be bound by a 180-day lock-up period, while the directors are subject to a 360 day lock-up. City sources told that institutional demand, both in the UK and in the US, is strong, and AO will sell all the shares it wants to.

AO will be valued at 72 times its projected 2015 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

For the year ended March 2013, the company reported a 32% increase in revenue to £275.5m and EBITDA of £10.7m.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, Jefferies Group and Numis Securities are managing the sale while Rothschild is acting as financial adviser.

Since AO confirmed its plans to list, a second prominent North West retailer, Pets at Home, has begun a process, while Manchester-based fashion retailer Boohoo will also join the market in the coming weeks.

Originally selling fridges, washing machines, cookers and tumble dryers, AO has recently broadened its product range to include toasters and coffee machines.

Source : The Business Desk - North West

24 February 2014
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