Upwardly mobile accountant ready for big float

The former public school friends decision to float their mobile-telephone store business next month on the London stock exchange will see the business valued at as much as £2bn.

Chief operating officer Ross has a 33% stake in the business, which could fetch the former Arthur Andersen trainee up to £700m, while his partner Dunstone is set to be looking at as much as £1 billion.

The thirty-four year old celebrated this week by running a half-marathon across the new bridge that links Sweden and Denmark with girlfriend Ali Cockayne, the mother of former rugby star Will Carling’s child.

Ross and Dunstone set the company up in 1989 with £6,000 and the chain now grown from a turnover £1.5m to £689m with a 4,500 workforce who are the happy recipients of an inclusive management style.

Earlier this year, Ross and Dunstone announced a £31m war chest to back wireless technology and internet ventures, and the pair hope to raise about £200m extra capital for their European expansion.

Ross said: ‘We need to be a truly pan-European retailer and that requires further investment.’

M-commerce, where m is for mobile phone, will also be expanded with a European portal pre-installed in each Wireless Application Protocol phone the company sells by early next year.

The duo met at Uppingham School in Rutland, where Dunstone first traded in cigarettes with fellow pupil and now Big Breakfast co-presenter Johnny Vaughan.

  • Carphone Warehouse has announced plans to limit the volatility of its share price following floatation. By giving private investors priority on the condition that they do not sell their shares for three months, the compnay hopes to prevent the market fluctuations suffered in the technology, media and telecommunications sector in recent months.

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