One of the USA’s biggest makers of liquids for e-cigarettes is aiming to cash in on the boom in vaping by listing its shares on the London stock market. Boston-based Supreme, which is 100% owned by its chief executive, Sandy Chadha, is expected to have a market price of $150m when it floats on Aim, the London Stock Exchange’s junior market, in mid- to late May.
Supreme owns the KiK and 88vape brands and makes more than 130,000 bottles of vaping e-liquids a day. In addition, it sells hardware kits and vaping accessories, in addition to lightbulbs and 200m batteries before year. The firm supplies retailers like Asda, Halfords, B&M, Poundland, Iceland, Home Bargains and wholesalers including Booker, Bestway, Costcutter and Nisa. Supreme made revenues of $70.7m before year and earnings before interest and tax of $7.2m around to the end of March.
Chadha, who paid himself a dividend of $4.5m a year ago, is expected to retain a majority stake following the firm goes public. The business was setup by his father in 1975 right after the family moved to Britain from Delhi when he was 2 yrs old. His father started selling toys along with other products imported from east Asia from the van and later on moved into batteries.
Chadha, a millionaire, recently honoured a 10-year bet by handing spanning a $130,000 Bentley to corporate turnaround expert Iain Johnston. In 2007, Supreme went bust but Johnston, an adviser to Chadha’s lenders, confidently predicted the firm would recover.
He asked Chadha to bet his Bentley on the Supreme’s recovery, and also the businessman pledged to hand over the luxury car if the firm made an annual profit of $1m. The two men lost contact, but after hunting him upon LinkedIn, Chadha handed over a Bentley Flying Spur to Johnston in January. Nearly 3 million Britons are now vaping. UK sales of vaping products surged by 50% this past year to reach $1bn, and are on course to exceed $2bn by 2020.
The latest evidence implies that while e-cigarettes are certainly not harmless, they may be far safer than smoking since they don’t contain tobacco. 2017 saw the publication in the first long term study of vaping. Another study suggested a cancer risk from vaping of about 1% of this from smoking.
Chadha said: “Over the final two decades we have established Supreme as a leading manufacturer and distributor of batteries and lighting, and a lot more recently vaping, demonstrating our capacity to leverage our extensive distributor and customer relationships to drive growth.”
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