JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin opens trading on London Stock Exchange to mark his firm's 20 years as a listed company


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The Independent Online

JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin marked his company's 20 years as a listed company today by opening trading on the London Stock Exchange.

The chain has grown from 44 pubs and 1,200 employees when it floated on the LSE in October 1992 to 863 pubs and almost 30,000 staff today. Since its listing the company's share price has risen by around 1,500%.

Mr Martin, the current chairman, was joined by more than 30 representatives, including pub and head office staff with 20 years service, for the market opening ceremony.

The company opened its first pub, Marler's Bar, in Muswell Hill, north London, in 1979 and takes its name from one of Mr Martin's teachers and JD Hogg from the Dukes Of Hazzard TV series.

Mr Martin said: "Our success is due to our talented and hard-working staff and the millions of customers who visit our pubs each week."

Marcus Stuttard, head of UK primary markets at London Stock Exchange Group, said the company was "a very British success story" that demonstrated the power of equity in supporting the growth of ambitious businesses.

He added "Growth stories like that of JD Wetherspoon highlight the strength of British business and the vital role that entrepreneurs and innovative business people have in maintaining the health of the UK economy."