Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Matalan couple net pounds 23m

JOHN Hargreaves, founder and executive chairman of Matalan, the out-of-town clothing retail chain, and his wife Anne-Marie have raised pounds 23m through selling part of their stake to financial institutions. Mr Hargreaves and his family still own around 65 per cent of the group, which will be valued at more than pounds 128m when it floats on the stock market next Thursday.

Angus Monro, Matalan's chief executive, and Ian Smith, finance director, stand to become millionaires from the flotation. Mr Monro will own shares worth pounds 3.2m, having exercised options and could receive more worth pounds 1.9m. Mr Smith is sitting on shares worth almost pounds 2m and is entitled to up to pounds 600,000 worth of shares under the option scheme.

Matalan has been priced at pounds 196.7m, equivalent to 235p a share. It will start trading on a historical multiple of nearly 20 times earnings.

Matalan sells branded goods such as Calvin Klein and Nike at knockdown prices. Mr Hargreaves, who started selling from a market stall, has presided over the rapid expansion of Matalan in recent years. The group is raising more than pounds 10m to grow its chain of stores.