Hotel Chocolat looks to raise £50m in market debut

Chocolatier and retail chain Hotel Chocolat today unveiled plans to raise about £50 million by floating on the London market.

Hotel Chocolat has a cafe within Edinburgh's John Lewis store. Picture: Jane Barlow

The business, founded in 1993, expects to join the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) in the second quarter of this year in a bid to raise funds to help expand its store portfolio and online presence.

Hotel Chocolat currently has 84 shops, including five Scottish outlets in Aberdeen, Braehead, Edinburgh and Glasgow. About 500,000 people have also shopped on its website over the past two years.

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In the year to 28 June, the firm generated underlying pre-tax profits of £7.9 million, on revenues of £81.1m.

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Chief executive and co-founder Angus Thirlwell said: “Hotel Chocolat is built on our core values of authenticity, originality and ethical trading.

“We are very excited at the prospect of listing as it is the next logical step in our growth plans and will enable us to accelerate the many initiatives that we have in place, in particular additional investment in our British chocolate manufacturing, in new stores and in our digital offering.”

Liberum Capital is acting as nominated adviser and sole broker to the company.