Lucky three land £2.4m 'finder's fee' for brokering £10.9m float

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Three business associates will net a £2.4m "finder's fee" for orchestrating the £10.9m float of someone else's company.

Three business associates will net a £2.4m "finder's fee" for orchestrating the £10.9m float of someone else's company.

Peter Voller, "personal friend" Rebecca Hobson, and business associate Robert Burns will share the windfall when Lennox Holdings floats on AIM later this month. The company will import and distribute mostly British products to expatriates and locals in Spain.

The trio had been in line for a larger windfall of £3.1m under the original proposals outlined in the prospectus last week, but potential investors balked at the size of the payout.

A spokesman for Lennox admitted: "Investors said this was not in accordance with what the market planned, but the plans were always subject to change anyway."

Mr Voller, a London-based entreprenuer, will become chief executive of Lennox, with a salary of £100,000. A spokesman said that he deserved the finder's fee. "Peter has a lot of contacts and great business acumen. The business can be developed further," he said.

Just over a third of the company's shares are expected to be placed with institutions, with plans to raise £3.5m after tax, valuing the company at £10.9m. The placing should take place by the end of the month.

The float has a complex structure for tax reasons. It will raise the capital to allow Lennox, currently a shell company, to acquire Farm, a special acquisition vehicle set up in Guernsey to buy a business currently called European Supplies.

European Supplies made an operating profit of £1.5m on turnover of £8.6m last year.

Mr Voller made the offer to float and run European Supplies to the business's co-founder David Franks, a long-standing business associate of Mr Voller. Mr Franks will also take a stake in Lennox.

Mr Voller is expected to expand its distribution network in its principal market, Spain, and in the Mediterranean. The business buys mostly own-label UK goods from suppliers including Unilever, Ocean Spray and GlaxoSmithKline. Its customers include supermarket groups Ahold and Carrefour and depart- ment store chain El Corte Ingles.