News Column

Online retailers AO World chief defends lacklustre flotation

June 6, 2014



The founder of AO World has defended the online appliance retailer's flotation as the shares languished below their offer price. Reporting his first results since February's initial public offering (IPO) John Roberts said institutional shareholders were happy.

"They are not trying to make a flip with us in eight weeks. These are high quality investors. These are not thick people," he said. "People who speculate in short-term returns on a pop at our IPO I can't get too concerned about. They don't give a shit about me so I don't give a shit about them."

Annual operating profit before the pounds 15.4m cost of the IPO fell 2.4% to pounds 8.2m on revenue up 40% to pounds 385m. Including IPO costs AO made a pounds 7.2m loss.

AO floated at 285p a share. The price soared on the day of the IPO, valuing AO at almost pounds 1.6bn, but the shares have traded below the offer price since 10 April. They fell a further 5% yesterday to 248p, valuing AO at pounds 1.04bn.

Roberts, who founded the business in 2000 for a bet, made pounds 86m by selling some of his shares before the flotation. Sean Farrell



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Source: Guardian (UK)


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