'The Plumber' is back, promising a ruthless acquisition spree

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The Independent Online

Paul "The Plumber" Davidson, the serial entrepreneur who last year bloodied the nose of Britain's financial regulator, forcing it to stump up costs of 700,000, is to make a return to the public market armed with a new product and grand aspirations.

Davidson, who first made his millions by selling a device to paint behind radiators, is to become chief executive of Fluid Leader plc, which is being created through his takeover of a Plus Markets shell company, Anca C. The new group plans to sell a reinforcing system to end oil-pipe leakage that Mr Davidson claims will "revolutionise the market".

"Currently, there isn't an effective way to permanently repair leaking oil pipes, so the oil has to be reclaimed from the ground at huge expense," he said. "But we have a patent pending on a product that will bring an end to the leaks."

Mr Davidson, who along with his son will enjoy a combined stake in the company of around 66 per cent, said that a 50m contract was already in the pipeline and this would be ready to sign in January.

He also revealed plans to go on what he described as a "ruthless" acquisition spree, promising to "take out a number of high brands" with a deal ready to be agreed in February.

He intimated that any acquisition was likely to be struck in America, where Fluid Leader has an interest in a Nevada-based firm, Pipejoin Technologies.

"We have no competition in this arena," said Mr Davidson. "We have big plans for the company, including moving from Plus Markets plc to AIM [Alternative Investment Market] in the spring and on to a full listing within the next 18 months."

It's now one year since the four-year battle between Mr Davidson and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) finally ended with the regulator handing over 700,000 in costs to "The Plumber".

The FSA had first alleged that Mr Davidson had breached regulations by taking out a spread bet relating to the share price of a fledgling biotech firm, Cyprotex, in which he was the largest shareholder.

However, a tribunal eventually dismissed the FSA's case leading to the most humiliating climbdown in its history.

Mr Davidson was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2004 with debts thought to be in the region of 20m, although he has since been discharged from this status.

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