The chairman of retailer AO World (AO.) and the founder of Café Rouge are bringing a cash shell to the London stock market that will seek to invest in consumer and leisure sector companies. Dorcaster plans to join AIM on 1 July 2016, raising an undisclosed amount of money.
The IPO (initial public offering) coincides with Richard Rose’s departure from AO World after eight years as chairman. He is being replaced by Card Factory’s (CARD) chairman Geoff Cooper.
Dorcaster has yet to disclose any potential acquisition targets, so investors will initially have to buy shares on the basis of the track record of the directors heading the business at flotation.
A prolific director for both public and private companies, Rose is likely to have a rich pool of contacts. He is chairman of butcher and food retailer Crawshaw (CRAW), animal feed additives group Anpario (ANP:AIM) and privately-owned clothing retailer Blue Inc.
Rose is also the person who took the helm of insurance claims group Quindell after predecessor Rob Terry was ousted from the troubled business. He retains the chairman position today at the renamed Watchstone (WTG:AIM).
The Dorcaster team includes non-executive director Karen Jones who founded and floated Café Rouge. She incorporated that chain into a larger restaurant group called Pelican which was sold to Whitbread (WTB) in July 1996.
Jones was also the chief executive of pub and restaurant group Spirit which was sold to Punch Taverns for £2.7 billion in January 2006 and subsequently spun out and then acquired by Greene King (GNK).
Completing the trio of directors at Dorcaster is Hubert Van Den Bergh who works for asset manager McLean Capital.
Dorcaster plans to buy one or more quoted or unquoted businesses, in whole or in part. Any money raised at the IPO is likely to fund due diligence on acquisitions. It will then more than likely raise more money via the stock market and debt to complete a corporate transaction.
The cash shell has indicated it won't pay dividends, saying returns to shareholders will be delivered primarily through share price appreciation.