Brendan Foster takes gold in a very different arena

Former Olympic athlete and television commentator Brendan Foster will triumphantly join the multi-millionaire race this month. The long- distance runner is floating his sportswear, sponsorship and event marketing company on the stock market in three weeks' time.

Nova International - to be renamed View From International, on flotation - is likely to be valued at between pounds 10m and pounds 12m. After flotation, Mr Foster estimates he will have a 40 per cent stake, worth about pounds 4.5m.

Foster set up Nova International with three friends, nine years ago. They had been working at Nike (UK) and were involved in building up the US sportswear giant's UK business between 1981 and 1987.

Speaking yesterday from Nova International's Newcastle offices, Mr Foster said: "We decided to have a go ourselves and it just took off. "We planned to enter the national arena and gradually expand internationally."

Realising that expansion required an injection of finance from the City, the directors took advice on floating the company four months ago.

There are already Nova International distributors in the Republic of Ireland, Holland, Germany and Belgium. Mr Foster hopes to continue the expansion across Europe, and ultimately expand into North America.

He said: "We are expanding step by step and taking one thing at a time.

"Thanks to our successful event marketing and athletics sponsorship contracts, View From is already a brand with credibility and a solid reputation.

"A stock market listing gives us the scope to grow the business and gives the View From name an increased profile in the active sportswear market."

Foster's business has supplied shoes and clothing for LWT's massively successful Gladiators series, and five years ago it won the contract to supply View From kit to the British athletics team.

Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell, Colin Jackson and Jonathan Edwards have all worn the sportswear. And Mr Foster is proud of the fact that these athletes have won gold medals in competion while wearing his firm's clothing.

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