Kirkham adds pounds 74m to fortune with DFS sale

Graham Kirkham, the fabulously wealthy chairman and founder of DFS Furniture, added pounds 74m to his fortune yesterday with the successful placing of 22 per cent of the company he started in an upstairs room in 1969.

Mr Kirkham flagged the placing a week ago, when the company reported record profits for the year to July, but the scale of the share sale was larger than expected. He had been expected to raise about pounds 60m from the sale of a third of his 48 per cent holding in DFS.

He said: "Since the flotation of DFS, I have had numerous approaches from shareholders and potential new investors asking whether I and my family would sell further shares. I remain as executive chairman and my commitment to the company is as strong as it ever has been."

Last week he assured investors that he had no intention of diluting his interest in the company by spending his money on other business ventures.

The share sale, which allowed existing investors to boost their holdings and also brought new shareholders onto the register, means Mr Kirkham has now taken more than pounds 200m out of the business since floating DFS in 1993. He and family trusts still hold a 30 per cent stake, worth more than pounds 100m.

Strong demand for the shares allowed broker NatWest Wood Mackenzie to place the shares at 328p, a discount of only 2 per cent toWednesday's closing price of 335p. News of the deal pushed the shares 11p higher yesterday to 346p.

Mr Kirkham said the placing was larger than forecast because of the strong demand from institutions frustrated at their inability to buy into the company, which has shrugged off the stagnant housing market to produce strong profits growth.

Last week DFS announced a special dividend of 10p a share, in addition to a 15 per cent rise in the ordinary payout to 8.3p, as a way of reducing the company's fast growing cash pile.

Mr Kirkham has undertaken to sell no more shares for at least 12 months without the consent of Schroders, which underwrote the latest placing.

The son of a Yorkshire miner, who left school without any O levels, Mr Kirkham has become a serious art collector since joining the ranks of British richest people.

He celebrated DFS's flotation by buying a Gainsborough painting, Peasants going to market. He said that he felt it was appropriate.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
music
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003