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Victorian Plumbing founders pocket £266m payday from float

·2 min read
Mark Radcliffe - Victorian Plumbing
Mark Radcliffe - Victorian Plumbing

The family that founded Victorian Plumbing is in line for a £266m payday after floating on London’s junior market.

The Formby-based online bathroom accessories retailer was set up by serial entrepreneur and chief executive Mark Radcliffe, 42, in 2000 after he created a website for his father who restored Victorian bathrooms.

He was the UK’s first eBay millionaire at 30 after founding First2save, a mobile phone accessories business.

His brother, Neil, who is a product director at the company, as well as their mother Carole both have stakes in the firm.

The Radcliffes sold shares worth £266m and will own 58pc of the company after the £850m float on the Alternative Investment Market.

The founder’s remaining stake is worth £388m at the listing price of 262p after he sold stock worth £212m. Neil and Carol Radcliffe sold shares worth £42.4m and £12m respectively.

Victorian Plumbing's advertising campaign
Victorian Plumbing's advertising campaign

Mark Radcliffe said that at the age of 18 he would tell his mother that by the time he was 25, he would own a Ferrari. He bought the car at 26.

He attributed his early success to discipline and hard work, starting at 7am and finishing at 10pm or midnight in his parents’ garden shed.

Mr Radcliffe's first job was collecting eggs from battery hens before moving on to paper rounds and working on building sites at weekends. He also had part-time jobs at McDonald's and Tesco as a teenager.

Victorian Plumbing, which is profitable, will raise £11.6m from the listing to pay bankers' fees and expand. It has 547 employees. The initial valuation was between £800m and £1bn.

Mr Radcliffe collected £9.3m in dividends in 2019 and 2020 according to filings at Companies House.

In December, the firm said that it would repay £126,000 of furlough cash from the Government following a boom in home improvements during the pandemic.