Victorian Plumbing boss Mark Radcliffe scoops £212m float windfall

Liverpool bathroom magnate cleans up in £1.1bn float: Victorian plumber Mark Radcliffe scoops £212m windfall

Bathroom magnate Mark Radcliffe took a £212 million windfall when shares in Victorian Plumbing skyrocketed on its stock market debut.

The founder and boss sold about a third of his stake during the fair, the largest ever on AIM.

But he still owns 46 percent of the company — a stake that rose in value after shares rose a quarter during the first day of trading.

Mark Radcliffe, the founder of Victorian Plumbing, reaped a £212m windfall as shares in the bathroom equipment company skyrocketed on its stock market debut

Mark Radcliffe, the founder of Victorian Plumbing, reaped a £212m windfall as shares in the bathroom equipment company skyrocketed on its stock market debut

At the start of the day, his 46 percent was worth £390 million, by the end it had risen to almost £500 million.

And the market value of the company skyrocketed from a listing price of £850 million to £1.1 billion. The wildly successful debut of Victorian Plumbing will restore confidence in the demand for large floats in the city.

There has been a string of offers this year, but major companies Deliveroo and Made both flopped, with Deliveroo’s offer being called the ‘worst ever’.

Radcliffe, 42, founded Victorian Plumbing in 2000 from his parents’ garden shed in Merseyside and has grown into a £209 million turnover business with 500 employees.

The Lancashire group bills is an online bathroom store. It sells 24,000 products, from soap dispensers and towel radiators to £6,000 toilets.

Before Victorian Plumbing, Radcliffe became the UK’s first Ebay billionaire at the age of 30 after setting up First2save, a mobile phone accessories company, out of the same shed.

He has said he wanted to earn money so that he could buy an expensive car by the time he was 25, although he missed this goal and bought a Ferrari when he was 26.

He says he has always been ambitious and hardworking since he was ten, when he lied about his age to get a job collecting eggs on a battery farm.

The entrepreneur credited his parents and brother for much of his success and gifted them a large number of shares.

Yesterday he described the float as a ‘landmark day’ and an ‘exciting next step on our growth journey’.

The Radcliffes together sold £266 million worth of shares when the company came on the market, with product director Neil for £42.4 million in shares and their mother Carole flogging with shares worth £12 million. But they still own 58 percent of the company, a stake of about £620 million.

Victorian Plumbing, which features interior professionals and former Changing Rooms presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen in its advertisements, appointed Philip Bowcock chairman last week.

Bowcock was previously the financial boss and later chief executive of gambling group William Hill. The shares hit 330p – up from a quoted price of 262p.

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