The Manchester family behind the fast-growing Boohoo.com are now one of the richest in the country after selling a £240m stake in the website.
Boohoo will confirm this morning that it has raised £300m from investors after selling 600m shares priced at 50p. The amount raised is higher than some analysts had expected and will translate to a market value of £560m when the company debuts on AIM next week.
After the listing the Kamani family will still own a 44% stake with £50m of the money raised being retained for investment purposes.
The fashion retailer which targets 16-24 year olds was set up in 2006 by Mahmud Kamani and his business partner Carol Kane, who previously supplied high street rivals such as Primark and New Look. Kamani and Kane will be joint chief executives of the listed business.
Despite the windfall Kamani said he had no plans to step back: "I'm obsessed with work. People say why don't you go to the football? I'd rather go to work. This is my hobby."
Kamani's father Abdullah moved to the north-west in the 1960s, escaping wartorn Kenya with his wife and four children. He became a successful rag trade entrepreneur, founding brands such as Pinstripe Clothing.
Kane said Boohoo was differentiated from the likes of Asos as all its clothes are own-brand and its price points are lower with an average price tag of £17. "Our customer is 16-24 years old and at the value end of the market. When we worked with the British high street we were the go-to fashion team," she said.
The retailer, which already dispatches to 100 countries, has impressive margins and made a profit before financial charges of £10m on sales of £92m in the ten months to December. That compared with profits of just £3.5m a year ago and reflected the inclusion of its sourcing companies.
Boohoo is just the latest in a long queue of retailers to come to market. It follows in the footsteps of Pets at Home, McColl's and AO.com, the washing machine and white goods retailer.
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