Fishing equipment retailer Angling Direct reels in £9m with London junior market float

Alys Key
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Fly Fishing On The River Coln
The company's CEO sees a bright future ahead with expansion plans on the horizon (Source: Angling Direct)

Angling Direct, the UK's largest fishing tackle and equipment retailer, cast its line in the London Stock Exchange's junior market for the first time this morning.

The float reeled in £9m, giving the company a market value of £27.4m.

The oversubscribed placing was priced at 64p per share. At the time of writing it was trading at 68p.

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Chief executive Darren Bailey said the funds raised would be used to expand the retailer's portfolio of stores, which currently stands at 15, as well as pushing online sales.

He told City A.M. that the niche offering of the brand offered resilience in a volatile time, and that the group had even seen sales rise during the last financial crisis.

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"You don't have to pay very much to go fishing; you just need a license and some tackle. And people have always got time for it."

He also explained that Angling Direct invests in creating new anglers, negotiating with lake owners to allow children to try fishing there for free.

The next few stores set to open are in Swindon, Slough, and Stoke. Bailey also said the company was "always on the lookout" for other fishing stores in target areas which it could acquire.

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