Ao.com chief executive John Roberts said its float next month would give it the “firepower” to realise huge growth as it gears up for international expansion.
Roberts, who revealed his intention to float this morning, said: “We’ve got a massive opportunity ahead and now we have the firepower to realise this opportunity for huge growth.”
Online electricals retailer Ao.com is now exploring expanding into Germany where Roberts said it hopes to launch by next March.
He said there was no major rival for Ao.com in Germany, where the electricals market is worth £6.6bn, according to research undertaken by OC&C.
Roberts said it had a “fantastic” response from potential investors in the IPO, which is understood to value the electricals etailer at £1bn.
He said: “This is not a private equity firm trying to restructure their balance sheet. This is a true ecommerce growth story with the opportunity for growth ahead.”
Roberts, who started the business as a £1 bet in 2000, insisted the float would not signal his departure at Ao.com. “I’m here to stay,” he added.
It is understood that Roberts will retain around a 40% stake in Ao.com.
The etailer unveiled a high profile line-up of non-executives this morning ahead of its float, including Asos chairman and former Amazon boss Brian McBride as senior independent non-executive director, as well as ex-John Lewis Partnership finance director Marisa Cassoni and Rudolf Lamprecht, a former board member at BSH – the appliance-making joint venture between German industrial groups Bosch and Siemens.
Roberts said that he had hired a “premier league board for a premier league company”.