LONDON Feb 7 AO, the British online retailer of
major domestic appliances, plans to list its shares on the
London Stock Exchange, joining a rush of recent retail
AO owner DRL Holdings Limited said on Friday it would be
re-registered and renamed as AO PLC and expected to list in
The firm's share offer will comprise an offer of new shares
to raise gross proceeds of approximately 60 million pounds ($98
million) and an offer of existing shares to be sold by the
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 percent of AO's share capital.
The Financial Times reported last month that AO was aiming
for a 1 billion pounds valuation when it floats.
The listing of AO, whose rivals include Dixons Retail
, the UK's No.1 electricals retailer, is one of many
expected in the sector in 2014.
Russian hypermarket chain Lenta and newsagent and
convenience store McColl's have both announced intentions to
float in recent weeks, while British retailers Poundland, Pets
at Home and House of Fraser are also expected to come to market
later this year.
Led by Chief Executive John Roberts, its co-founder and
largest shareholder with around a 40 percent stake, AO sells
about 4,000 products from over 30 appliance brands, installs,
removes and recycles old appliances.
In 2012 AO had a 24 percent share of the UK online market
for major domestic appliances, of which 19 percent represented
AO website sales, and 5 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 29.6
percent to 275.5 million pounds, while earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased at a
compound annual growth rate of 57 percent 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.