Suffolk: King of Shaves firm could sell for �45m

A BUSINESS set up in Lowestoft for �15,000 is being lined up for a multi-million pound sale.

Millionaire entrepreneur Will King is eyeing up a potential �45m sale of his King of Shaves company, which was set up in the coastal town in the early 1990s.

Reports suggest the razor blade and shaving oils company, which has featured sportsmen including England footballer John Terry and British tennis number one Andy Murray in its adverts, has been approached by at least two potential bidders.

It is also believed that Mr King has appointed advisors to oversee an auction for the business which has a turnover of �13m. The bidders are understood to include Remington, the US shaving brand, and Japanese razor blade supplier Kai Industries, which already owns a 21% stake in the business.

Mr King, who founded the company in 1993 after being made redundant, said: “There are a limited number of players in the shaving market and we are a unique brand and aim to continue growing. There is a whole world to shave.”

Mr King, who once stood on Speakers’ Corner with a megaphone to sell his products, is reported to have appointed Singapore-based Alpha Advisory to run an auction of the firm.

The businessman, who owns 30% of the equity, is understood to be planning to stay on with the company to play a role in its expansion.

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Kai Industries increased its holding earlier this year after taking a 7pc stake for �1.5m in a deal that valued the company at nearly �25m. However, reports suggest the company could be sold for up to �45m.

King of Shaves had sales of �11.6m in the 17 months to the end of May last year. The company has a licensing deal to sell its products in 22,000 stores in the US.

Last month, it emerged that Tokyo-based Kai Industries had increased its stake in King of Shaves from just under 7pc to 21pc in a deal putting a value of �24.25m on Mr King’s business.

Last November, Mr King announced a distribution deal in North America with the personal care giant Remington, which will see the firm’s products on sale across the United States and Canada.

Mr King founded the business in Lowestoft with a �15,000 investment in 1993 – moving from shaving oils to a broad range of razors and shaving products for men and women.