Thursday, 1 November 2007

The owner of Borders - Businessman of the Month

Our month of October featuring Mr Peter Jones came to an end. You can read all about him in the featured articles, by clicking on the links below.

Creating "my own" TV shows - Mr Peter Jones
Month End for Mr David Gold (featuring start for Mr Peter Jones month)

Businessman of November - The chairman of PizzaExpress who took control of the latter took this well know chain from 12 restaurants to over 250 with the share price from 40p to over 900p. Mr Luke Johnson studied medicine at Oxford University graduating in 1983 after which he then worked as media analyst at stockbroker Grieveson Grant (subsequently Kleinwort Benson Securities).

He sold out in 1999 and started Signature Restaurants, which owned The Ivy and Le Caprice, as well as the Belgo chain which he sold in 2005. Mr Johnson then started the Strada restaurant concept from scratch and took the chain to 30 units which he also sold in late 2005. The total proceeds from these two disposals were in excess of £90 million ($180 million). In the period 1993 to date he has been involved as director/owner of various quoted companies in retailing, pubs and bars, parcel delivery and maritime commerce, including Whittard of Chelsea, My Kinda Town, Nightfreight and American Port Services.

Luke founded Integrated Dental Holdings with partners in 1996 and grew it to the largest UK chain of dental surgeries with over 500 dentists. This was sold in 2006 for over £100 million ($200 million). He is Non-executive Director of Elderstreet VCT plc, and founder/owner and Director of InterQuest Group plc, a quoted recruitment business. From 2004 to 2006 he was Director of Dollar Financial Group Inc, a US NASDAQ traded corporation with $80 million ($160 million) EBITDA. Since 2000 Luke has run Risk Capital Partners Ltd., focusing on private equity deals. He was principal owner of Mayfair Gaming, the group of Riva bingo clubs, since 2004, which he sold in 2006 for IRR of over 40%.

He is also the owner/Chairman of private firms in directory publishing (Superbrands), restaurants - Giraffe and Patisserie Valerie - and between 2003-2006 advertising/design (Loewy Group). Loewy investment was successfully sold in late 2006. He is a major owner and Director of the market leader in car park equipment, APT Controls, since early 2007.

Please stay put this month for our businessman of the month, Mr Luke Johnson, also owner of Borders, the bookstore chain which he bought in 2007. He is worth more than £100 million ($200 million) and has been voted the 1000 most influential people of 2007 by the Evening Standard.

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