Marchpole chief executive set to net pounds 11m from float

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The Independent Online
The chief executive of Marchpole Holdings will net pounds 11m when the designer and distributor of Yves Saint Laurent menswear comes to the stock market next month. Michael Morris, 52, joined the group in 1985 when it was awarded its first licence for mens formalwear in the UK and Ireland. He has a 60 per cent stake in the business which will fall to 38 per cent post-flotation. He has spent 25 years in the menswear industry.

The shares are expected to be priced at around 120p-150p, valuing the company at pounds 140m-pounds 165m.

Marchpole specialises in the design, sourcing and distribution of menswear and boyswear under licence from YSL. The company has recently agreed a licence for YSL's casualwear in the Japanese market. It said all its YSL licences were renewed at the beginning of 1997 for a 10-year period.

Marchpole recorded pre-tax profits of pounds 2.2m in the year to 31 December 1996 on sales of pounds 36.9m. The directors said yesterday that they estimate this year's profits to be not less than pounds 11.1m.

The directors said the flotation would enhance the group's status and assist its UK and international growth strategy. In addition they said it would give it greater financial flexibility by raising pounds 39m to redeem preference share capital and loan stock.

Mr Morris said: "A stock market listing will provide Marchpole with a springboard for the next phase of its growth. ''

- Nigel Cope