Omega kitchens directors to sell £7m of shares in AIM float

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The Independent Online

Four directors from Omega, the Doncaster-based designer and manufacturer of kitchen furniture chaired by the Sunderland football club chairman Bob Murray, are selling £7.25m worth of shares in the group's forthcoming flotation on the AIM market.

Mr Murray, who founded the company when he came out of Spring Ram in the early 1990s and is now non-executive, is selling one-sixth of his family trust's shareholding to give him £3.4m.

The three executive directors, led by Francis Galvin, are selling roughly half their shareholdings to raise £3.85m between them.

Following the flotation, Mr Murray and the executive team will hold 69.7 per cent of the group's shares. They have agreed not to sell any further shares for two years unless on the request of the group's broker, Evolution Beeson Gregory.

Omega, which offers kitchen products through three main brands, Sheraton, Omega and Chippendale, made a £2.9m profit last year from turnover of £17.8m. The group is expecting continued growth in the current year, especially as it moves towards increasing its sales in southern England.

Yesterday the shares were priced at 113p, valuing the group at £31.5m.

Prue Leith, the businesswoman and restaurant owner, is one of the group's non-executive directors.

Mr Galvin said that the group's flotation, in which it will raise £2.25m of new money, would have strong commercial benefits. Omega hopes to increase its sales to the new build sector and it plans to extend its warehouse and distribution centre.

Mr Murray said that the group's executive directors, who were selling part of their holdings as part of the share placing, had waited about 10 years to make their capital gain.