Victorian Plumbing cheers ‘landmark day’ in biggest ever Aim float

Victorian Plumbing cheers ‘landmark day’ in biggest ever Aim float
The flotation has netted founder Mark Radcliffe and his family a multimillion-pound fortune.

Online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing has seen shares surge higher as it began life as a listed company in the biggest ever float on London’s junior market.

The group launched on to the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) with shares priced at 262p, giving it an initial valuation of around £850 million, before the stock quickly jumped higher to settle at around 309p after reaching 314p at one stage.

Chief executive Mark Radcliffe who founded the Lancashire-based firm in his parents’ garden shed back in 2000, said the initial public offering (IPO) was a “landmark day in the history of Victorian Plumbing”.

He said: “The successful completion of our IPO and admission to Aim is an exciting next step on our growth journey.”

“We are pleased to welcome such a strong blue chip shareholder base to the register and look forward to working together on this next chapter in the company’s development,” he added.

Victorian Plumbing’s listing raised £11.9 million for the company and £285.9 million for the selling shareholders, netting Mr Radcliffe a multimillion-pound fortune.

The entrepreneur sold £212 million worth of shares, reducing his holding from 72% of the company’s issued share capital to 46%.

His parents and brother Neil are also shareholders, and following the IPO the Radcliffe family will keep majority control with a 58% stake.

The group is based in Skelmersdale Lancashire and employs more than 500 staff across seven locations in Skelmersdale, Manchester and Birmingham.

It offers more than 24,000 bathroom products and accessories on its sites, selling both to consumers and trade customers.

The IPO marks the latest in a long line this year, with money transfer firm Wise last week also announcing IPO plans in what could be the biggest UK listing so far this year.

Other big names to join the London Stock Exchange this year include Moonpig Dr Martens, Virgin Wines, Trustpilot and cyber security giant Darktrace.

IPOs have soared in recent months despite the global pandemic, with companies keen to try to win over some of the billions hoarded by investors during the Covid crisis.