Lord of the Dance to seek £100m float

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Michael Flatley, the Irish impresario who created Lord of the Dance, aims to enchant the City with plans to float his management company, Unicorn Entertainment, on the London Stock Exchange for up to £100m.

Mr Flatley, who is thought to have accrued a personal fortune worth £60m, is expected to retain a majority stake in Unicorn after the flotation and will be its non-executive president. Peter Teague, deputy chief executive of BBC Worldwide, has been widely touted to become Unicorn's chief executive.

Mr Flatley built up his business by launching his own shows from 1996 after he parted company with the other creators of the original Irish dance phenomenon, Riverdance, which opened in 1995.

Since then Mr Flatley has attracted large international audiences when he has taken his fast-moving dance routines around the world. An estimated 300 million people have watched his intricate steps as created in Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames, which are a fusion of traditional Irish and modern routines.

Unicorn made a £19.3m operating profit on a turnover of £40m in 2000. It plans to grow the business by exploiting the Lord of the Dance brand through merchandising deals.