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Phone recycler musicMagpie reveals plans for £208 million London IPO

Naomi Ackerman
·2-min read
<p>The company was was co-founded by Steve Oliver and Walter Gleeson from their garages in Stockport in 2007</p> (MusicMagpie)

The company was was co-founded by Steve Oliver and Walter Gleeson from their garages in Stockport in 2007

(MusicMagpie)

MusicMagpie, the second-hand gadget seller, has revealed plans for a £208 million flotation on London's junior AIM market.

The company, founded in a garage in Stockport in 2007, is the UK's biggest mobile phone recycler. It allows users to trade in their old phone, console or CD for free and receive payment on the day it arrives with the company. Recycled items come with a 12-month warranty.

The company, which also operates under the Decluttr brand from a base in Atlanta, Georgia, and sees US sales accounting for around 25% of group turnover, is profitable. Latest accounts show it made £13.9 million in profits in the year to December on revenues of £153 million.

The business said it is expecting to raise £95 million for selling shareholders through the listing, expected next Thursday, including for some long-term private equity backers. Directors and senior management are set to own 11.5% of the company on IPO.

The company also hopes to raise £15 million to pay down company debt and fuel latest projects through the float, including for its iPhone rental offering and the recent launch of phone recycling "smartdrop kiosks" in supermarkets.

The company, which lists products on Amazon Marketplace and eBay as well as on its own site, was co-founded by Steve Oliver and Walter Gleeson from their garages. Gleeson designed the initial version of the company's proprietary technology, which automates decision-making and buying processes for the business.

Oliver said the pair would "never in a million years" have thought at the time that they would ever float their passion project.

He said: "When I was driving a lorry and Walter was programming I don't think we imagined this day. We are hugely proud."

MusicMagpie will be join a notable flurry of tech-enabled businesses floating London so far this year, from AIM floats of Virgin Wines and Parsley Box to the billion pound-plus IPOs of Moonpig, Trustpilot and Deliveroo.

Oliver, who refers to the firm's tech as "the secret sauce of the business" that has allowed it to "scale and flex", said the company chose London for the IPO as "the AIM market for fast-growing tech businesses like our own seems absolutely the right home for the business".

"We were keen to stay in London. We are a proud UK business with a very important US division," he said. "We've seen other high-quality technology and online businesses come to market, started by The Hut Group who are neighbours of ours in the north west.

"It seems like a really good time to be talking to the market and looking at raising capital to allow us to continue our expansion."

Peel Hunt and Shore Capital are acting as joint bookrunners and joint brokers on the IPO.

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