Entrepreneur who started kitchenware chain from Gloucestershire cottage mulling £100m-plus sale of business after lockdown sales surge
An entrepreneur who started his kitchenware chain from a Gloucestershire cottage is mulling a £100million-plus sale of the business after a lockdown sales surge.
Daniel O’Neill, founder of ProCook, has hired consultants at KPMG to advise on options as he looks to expand the firm on to the Continent.
The former software developer started a mail order business in 1996 on receiving a lorry-load of goods at his Cheltenham cottage.
Booming: The former software developer started a mail order business in 1996 on receiving a lorry-load of goods at his Cheltenham cottage
He opened his first store in 2000 but was forced to buy the firm back from administrators in the 2008 financial crisis. He expanded it to a 48-store chain, trading from outlet centres and online.
Despite having to shutter its shops in lockdown, internet sales have surged as households have spent more time in the kitchen. Annual profits are set to top £10million this financial year on a turnover of more than £50million with a 40 per cent rise in sales in the last quarter of 2020.
This has emboldened O’Neill to sell direct to consumers on the Continent, as well as via Amazon, and open stores there, starting in France and Germany.
The 55-year-old said many options remain on the table including an outright sale of the business – which he owns with his wife and brother – or a partnership with an existing retailer or an injection of venture capital. He ruled out a stock market flotation.
He said: ‘I want a strategic partner to bring expansion beyond the UK to fruition.’