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Autumn stock market float expected for Appliances Online

One of Britain’s biggest washing machine and cooker retailers is finalising plans for a stock market float of more than £300m, delivering a multimillion-pound windfall for its founder.

John Roberts, 39, is set for a paper fortune of at least £60m only 13 years after setting up Appliances Online following a bet over a drink.

The white-goods website is scheduled to hold meetings with advisers over the coming weeks with a view to making its market debut as early as the autumn, sources said.

Roberts founded Appliances Online in 2000 after he was challenged by one of his friends to set up a business. According to accounts at Companies House for DRL Holdings, which owns Appliances Online and Appliance Deals, he controls about a fifth of the shares.

The remainder of DRL is in the hands of staff and early investors. Bolton-based DRL sells directly to consumers and runs websites for large retailers such as Boots, Marks & Spencer and Next.

The company is growing rapidly, with revenues soaring to £275m in the year to March, against £89m in the 2009 financial year. Over that period, pre-tax profits have grown from £500,000 to £8.1m.

Source : Ben Marlow & Simon Duke – The Sunday Times

07 July 2013
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