Finelist says profits set to double

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FINELIST, the car parts distributor on its way to the stock market, yesterday forecast a doubling of its pre-tax profits to pounds 2.3m for the year to the end of March in its pathfinder prospectus, writes John Murray.

The company will be valued at about pounds 25m by the flotation, which will be via a placing sponsored by NatWest Markets and BZW.

Chris Swan, the chairman who led a management buyout of the business in 1991, is set to become a paper multi-millionaire, although his stake of 38 per cent will be diluted to about 15 per cent.

Mr Swan has been involved in buying out the company twice. The first buyout - by a four-man team - was from BBA in 1989. Two years later, Mr Swan bought out his partners in a pounds 2.2m deal backed by NatWest Ventures and 3i.

Finelist distributes motor components through 73 depots. Its customers range from small independent garages to national retailers such as Halfords.

The flotation will raise pounds 5m-pounds 6m for expansion. Mr Swan wants to increase the branch network to 120.