Belfast Telegraph

Ultimate Products reveals £105m stock market flotation

The firm behind a raft of kitchen gadgets and household goods hailed an "important step" for the group as it unveiled its £105 million stock market flotation.

Ultimate Products, which owns the Beldray brand and holds the licence to sell Russell Hobbs and Salter kitchenware ranges in the UK, has priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 128p a share, valuing the firm at £105.2 million.

Manchester-based Ultimate - chaired by former Poundland boss Jim McCarthy - is floating around 50% of its share capital and plans to raise £52.6 million from the move to fund expansion.

Conditional dealing in shares started on Wednesday and the group said full admission to the stock market was expected on March 6.

The move comes after Ultimate Products had put plans for a listing on ice prior to the EU referendum.

Simon Showman, chief executive and co-founder of Ultimate Products, said the firm had seen "strong interest" from investors for the IPO.

He added: " We are delighted to be welcoming new shareholders to the register as we take the business forward with this important step in Ultimate Products' story."

The group develops, designs, sources and distributes a wide-range of products, from kitchen gadgets such as juicers and spiralizers to headphones and ironing boards.

It owns Beldray - the UK's first manufacturer of steel ironing boards - as well as audio specialist intempo, which is targeted at the teenage market, and luggage brand Constellation.

Ultimate sells household brands to more than 300 retailers across 38 countries, including UK supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury's, Amazon, Boots, Halfords and Poundland.

Details of the IPO came as the firm reported a 58.2% rise in underlying earnings to £4.4 million for the first quarter of 2017 on revenues 48.7% higher at £33 million.

Founded in 1997 by Mr Showman and non-executive director Barry Franks , Ultimate was previously backed by private equity firm LDC, which held a 46% stake.

But LDC exited in 2014 via a management buyout, with Mr Showman now the largest shareholder.

The group said Mr Showman and Mr Franks, together with managing director Andrew Gossage, will retain a 44.9% stake in the company after the flotation.

It named retail veteran Mr McCarthy as chairman in December, having been a supplier to his Poundland chain for a number of years.