One of the USA’s biggest makers of liquids for e-cigarettes is hoping to cash in on the boom in vaping by listing its shares on the London stock trading. 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 each day. It also sells hardware kits and vaping accessories, in addition to Electronic Cigarette and 200m batteries previously year. The firm supplies retailers such as Asda, Halfords, B&M, Poundland, Iceland, Home Bargains and wholesalers including Booker, Bestway, Costcutter and Nisa. Supreme made revenues of $70.7m in the past year and earnings before interest and tax of $7.2m in the year to the end of March.
Chadha, who paid himself a dividend of $4.5m a year ago, is anticipated to retain a majority stake following the firm goes public. The company was set up by his father in 1975 right after the family transferred to Britain from Delhi when he was two years old. His father started selling toys and 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 more than 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, as well as the businessman pledged handy over the luxury car in the event the firm made a yearly profit of $1m. The two men lost contact, but after hunting him on 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 achieve $1bn, and they are on course to exceed $2bn by 2020.
The newest evidence shows that while e-cigarettes are not harmless, they are far safer than smoking simply because 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 around 1% of that from smoking.
Chadha said: “Over the very last two decades we have now established Supreme as a leading manufacturer and distributor of batteries and lighting, and more recently vaping, demonstrating our capacity to leverage our extensive distributor and customer relationships to drive growth.”
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