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Angling Direct wants to open 20 more stores after raising £20m through share placing

PUBLISHED: 11:17 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:03 24 October 2018

Angling Direct executive chairman, Martyn Page, right, and CEO Darren Bailey, at their Rackheath distribution centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Angling Direct executive chairman, Martyn Page, right, and CEO Darren Bailey, at their Rackheath distribution centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Growing fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct is set to turbo-charge its expansion plans after raising £20m from investors.

One of Angling Direct's existing stores, on Aylsham Road in Norwich. Picture: Sonya Duncan.One of Angling Direct's existing stores, on Aylsham Road in Norwich. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

The company has issued 21.6 million new shares to institutional investors, with the cash injection used to accelerate the roll-out of Angling Direct stores in the UK and “significantly increase” online sales in this country and Europe.

Directors at the company - which started out as a single fishing tackle shop in Wroxham in 1986 and now has its head office at Rackheath - want to open around 20 new stores by 2020, develop foreign-language websites to boost European sales, and drive up marketing efforts across the continent.

They also want the cash to be able to take advantage of merger and acquisitions activity, take on new staff across the business and for general working capital.

Since the company floated on the AIM in July 2017, it has opened eight new stores and taken its portfolio to 23.

MORE: Five things we learned from Angling Direct’s interim results

Angling Direct’s chief executive Darren Bailey said: “We are delighted with the level of support Angling Direct has received from its existing and new investors. The business has made excellent progress in the 15 months since joining AIM, with acquisitions completed, new stores opened, and revenue grown significantly.

“The new funds will allow Angling Direct to go to the next level, as we seek to extensively increase our UK footprint and expand into Europe through our successful online business.”

The company also announced on Wednesday that non-executive director Stephen Moon would step down from the board in January 2019.

MORE: Angling Direct: The Norfolk success story that has gone from one shop to a £27.4m stock market flotation

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