Applied Distribution moves step closer to pounds 40m flotation

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The Independent Online
Lorries line up at the Maidstone depot of Applied Distribution, whose journey towards a pounds 40m stock market flotation continues tomorrow with the publication of a pathfinder prospectus, writes Russell Hotten.

The contract distribution business, which serves blue-chip clients such as Sainsbury, Nestle and Esso, is planning a full listing in March through a placing by Baring Brothers.

The company was a pounds 16.5m management buyout of Geest's distribution business in 1989, when firms were increasingly contracting out distribution. The market - contract and in- house - is said to be worth about pounds 16bn.

The buyout was led by Michael Rowley, now Applied's chief executive.

Applied has five depots and specialises in distributing food and plants. Turnover in 1992 rose from pounds 18.4m to pounds 21.4m, and operating profits were up from pounds 3.2m to pounds 3.4m.

(Photograph omitted)

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