Mulberry hopes to stamp its mark on the alternative market

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The Independent Online
Coveted brand: Mulberry, the luxury leather goods maker which sees itself as Britain's answer to designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Ralph Lauren, plans to join the Alternative Investment Market. Its successful marketing of leather goods, home furnishings and clothes in classic English country style more than doubled sales to pounds 25.3m in the five years to 1995. At least 70 per cent of its output is exported each year.

The placing of a quarter of its shares next month is likely to value the company at more than pounds 30m. The funds raised will repay institutional investors. Roger Saul (above) - who founded the company in 1971 and remains head of design - and his family will retain most of the remaining shares. Mr Saul said Mulberry, a significant employer in its Somerset factories, could grow substantially. It has 51 retail outlets, including a flagship store in London's Bond Street, and sells to over 1,000 wholesalers in 32 countries. Photograph: Jane Baker