AO.com set for stock market flotation

AO.com chief executive John Roberts

AO.com chief executive John Roberts

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , business editor

BOLTON domestic appliances firm AO.com has announced it plans to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

It’s owner DRL Holdings said today it would be re-registered and renames as AO PLC and expected to list in March.

The firm’s share offer will comprise an offer of new shares to raise gross proceeds of about £60 million and an offer of existing shares to be sold by the selling shareholders.

The selling shareholders will include some of the company's directors, senior management and private investors who have supported the growth of the group. Current free float expectations are of at least 25 per cent of AO's share capital.

The Financial Times reported last month that AO was aiming for a £1 billion valuation when it floats.

The listing of AO, whose rivals include Dixons Retail , the UK's number one electricals retailer, is one of many expected in the sector in 2014.

Led by chief executive John Roberts, its co-founder and largest shareholder with around a 40pc stake, AO sells about 4,000 products from over 30 appliance brands, installs, removes and recycles old appliances.

In 2012, AO - based at The Parklands, Lostock - had a 24pc share of the UK online market for major domestic appliances, of which 19pc represented AO website sales, and five percent represented third-party branded website sales, according to an OC&C report commissioned by AO.

From the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011 to March 31, 2013 AO's revenue increased at a compound annual growth rate of 29.6pc to £275.5 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased at a compound annual growth rate of 57c to £10.7 million.

"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," said Roberts.

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