Shares plan for ‘£1 billion’ DFS

Lord Graham Kirkham, founder of DFS.
Lord Graham Kirkham, founder of DFS.
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Doncaster-based furniture giant DFS has been reported to be lining up a stock market flotation that would value the business at up to £1 billion.

Private equity backer Advent is said to be planning to appoint advisers to begin work on preparations within the next few weeks, with the business expected to be valued at between £800 million and £1 billion, according to the Sunday Times.

Advent bought the Carcroft-based chain, which was originally built up by Doncaster businessman Lord Kirkham, three years ago in a deal worth £590 million.

Founded in 1969, it has 74 stores across the UK.

Most of its sites are located in out-of-town retail parks, and employs more than 2,600 people, many at the Carcroft head office.

On its website, Advent says: “The business operates in a sector which has been difficult for some retailers, but the company’s relative size, manufacturing capabilities and reputation as market leader has allowed it to perform well and gain market share since the downturn in 2008.”

Advent declined to comment on the Sunday Times story.