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Poundland stars in its share debut

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

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A DISCOUNT retail firm that started life in Burton has floated on the stock market for the first time and saw its value increase to nearly £1 billion.

Poundland, which opened its first store in the town in 1990, joined the London Stock Exchange today and saw its value reach more than £900 million at one point during the first day of trading.

Shares rose to 396p at one point from the float price of 300p, increasing its market value from an initial £750 million.

Chief executive Jim McCarthy said: “We look forward to continuing to deliver, as a listed company, Poundland’s mission to provide our customers with amazing value every day.”

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Since opening its first store in The Octagon Centre, the firm has grown to nearly 500 outlets in the UK and plans to double that number in the coming years.

It has also moved to a bigger store in the centre to cope with demand.

Poundland’s flotation reduces the stake of private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which bought the group for £200 miillion in 2010 and who will pocket most of the proceeds from the stock market trading.

Poundland is a company with which 80 per cent of the UK population has shopped, and today has profits of nearly £1 billion a year.

The idea came from David Dodd and Steve Smith.

The pair, with the help of a £250,000 loan from Steve’s father Keith, decided Burton would be the place to start their empire.

It later emerged that the store sold close to £13,000 of stock on its first day.

Mr Smith sold his interest in Poundland in 2002 and Mr Dodd left the firm in 2006.

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