Gus Carter takes flutter for £3.5m

Gus Carter, a 72-strong betting shop chain based in Sunderland, is raising £3.5m through a placing and full listing next month to fund acquisitions and improve systems.

Stockbrokers Wise Speke will publish the pathfinder prospectus today and first dealings in its shares will be on 9 May.

The firm has been built over the last 30 years by the Trewhitt family, who will retain up to 60 per cent of the company following the float. John Trewhitt, managing director, said the first quarter had met expectations, and that the company had had a good Saturday - it took a third of a million pounds on the Grand National alone.

"Most of the flotation proceeds will be spent on upgrading our systems in the shops. We also aim to build the chain to about 150 shops over the next two to three years," said Mr Trewhitt. "We will look at opportunities as they arise." Key targets are small chains of six to seven offices in the North-East and throughout the UK.

The company announced yesterday that Gordon Hodgson, chief executive of the north- eastern car dealership Cowie, will become non-executive chairman. John Trewhitt's brother Nick is development director. David Gilthorpe was recruited from accountants Ernst & Young to be finance director.

About a third of shares will go to institutions and 10 per cent to private investors, said Mr Trewhitt. Since 1992 the company's turnover and operating profit have shown compound growth of 9 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively. Last year Gus Carter made just over £1m profit on turnover of £43.6m.

The company hopes to take advantage of recent deregulation to increase profitability in existing shops. From 6 April betting chains will be allowed to open up their shop fronts, which should help dispel the sometimes seedy image of betting shops in the past. Sunday betting and evening racing should also help profits.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator - Financial Services

£32000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Affiliates & Partnerships

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor