Feb. 27--Online appliance retailer AO.com smashed expectations for its stock market debut with a 33pc rise that increased the worth of founder John Roberts by pounds sterling 113m in less than nine hours of trading.
Roberts, who created the business on a pounds sterling 1 wager, banked pounds sterling 86m by selling shares in the run-up to the listing.
And with holding company AO World's shares rising from the float price of 285p to 378p, his remaining 28.6pc stake increased in value by pounds sterling 113m to pounds sterling 456m by the end of the day.
The rise means his personal fortune increased by nearly pounds sterling 3,700 for every second of share trading yesterday.
AO raised a total of pounds sterling 423m, initially valuing the company at pounds sterling 1.2bn, but the rise in its share price meant it ended the day worth pounds sterling 1.6bn, nearly as much as rival Dixons.
Roberts set up AO after realising that the long supply chain for 'white goods' such as dishwashers and fridges was adding needless costs. Having worked for Moben Kitchens, he started the business after a friend bet him pounds sterling 1 that he wouldn't take the plunge.
AO now has 1,000 staff, a 24pc market share in the UK and plans to use pounds sterling 60m of the cash raised in the float to expand in Europe, starting in Germany.
The remaining pounds sterling 363m of the pounds sterling 423m raised went to existing shareholders who sold up, other senior staff and early-stage 'angel' investors.
City sources said the float was oversubscribed, amid support for new market offerings. McColl's store chain started the retail float race by raising pounds sterling 133m. Pets At Home, Poundland, Card Factory and House of Fraser are on course for listings this year.
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