Floors-2-Go races to a flotation

Floors-2-Go, the wooden flooring retailer that was started five years ago by a father-and-son team, yesterday raced to a stockmarket quotation via an accelerated listing that failed to leave the group enough time to appoint a finance director.

The vacancy, disclosed in an advertisement in yesterday's Financial Times, did not appear to deter investors, who chased the group's shares 11 per cent higher to 53.5p, giving it a valuation of £70m.

Robert Hodge, who founded the business in 1999 with his sons Robert and Richard, last week sold Floors-2-Go to Smart Motive, a cash shell, for an undisclosed sum. Mr Hodge, 60, who pocketed millions from the sale of his carpet business Lord Harris in the early 1980s, was forced to sell-up because he needs a quadruple heart-bypass.

Although the Hodge family has no involvement in running the business - the sons plan to invest their share of the proceeds in some US business opportunities - they remain shareholders in Floors-2-Go, with a combined 13 per cent stake. The shareholding, which they split three ways, was worth £9m at last night's closing price.

The Hodges built the business from a single store five years ago to 100 across the North-west, the Midlands and South Wales. From 2001 to 2003, the group's earnings before depreciation, interest and non-recurring costs increased from £346,000 to £4.6m on turnover up more than 400 per cent to £44m.

Keith Salisbury, the group's financial adviser at Zeus Capital, defended its decision to float without a finance director - the lynchpin of any company's relationship with its investors, let alone one that has just floated. He said the company had a replacement "lined up", implying that the vacancy advertised in the FT was something of a formality and that budding finance directors need not apply. The company's shortlist was drawn up from people "within the retail trade but outside the flooring industry", he said.

Commenting on the timing of the advertisement, Mr Salisbury said: "The family were very, very nervous about people being aware that the business was going to be sold."

Smart Motive, which was formed in December and raised £8m via two placings in January and March, chose to seek an accelerated listing for Floors-2-Go - whereby the purchase of a company is paid for by selling most or all of the equity to institutions quickly - because it was "efficient", Mr Salisbury added.

The group raised an additional £805,000 via a placing of 1.7 million shares to fund the additional costs of the acquisition and the move to AIM.

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