Bolton firm AO.com valued at £1.2 billion as it floats on stock market
BOLTON appliances website AO.com has been valued at a staggering £1.2 billion as its shares were offered on the London Stock Exchange for the first time this morning.
The white goods retailer was listed conditionally this morning with a share price range of between 235p and 285p.
This means the firm’s total listed value is between £1 billion and £1.2 billion — more than 100 times its earnings last year.
AO.com, owned by DRL Holdings, will be reregistered and renamed as AO PLC, ahead of being unconditionally listed on March 3.
Following admission, chief executive John Roberts will hold 28.6 per cent of shares, while finance director Steve Caunce will hold 13.6 per cent.
The flotation represents the largest e-commerce initial public offering (IPO) since online supermarket Ocado floated in 2010.
AO.com — formerly known as Appliances Online — sells about 4,000 products from more than 30 appliance brands, as well as installing, removing and recycling old appliances.
About £60 million is to be raised by AO.com to be spent on the group’s efforts to expand into Germany and branch out into new product categories.
Mr Roberts said: “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."
Appliances Online was founded in 2001 and is still based in Bolton, at its headquarters in The Parklands, Lostock