Hotel Chocolat Founders Net £43.5m After Initial Public Offering

Hotel Chocolat's initial public offering has valued the firm at £167 million and netted the company's founders more than £20 million.

The company raised £55.5 million through a listing on the London Stock Exchange's junior AIM market, with £12 million of the sum earmarked for expansion.

Founders Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris will share £43.5 million and the duo will retain a 66.6% stake in the company.

Mr Thirlwell, who is also chief executive of Hotel Chocolat, said: "Today is a significant moment in the development of Hotel Chocolat and we are delighted to have received such strong demand from investors.

We have clear plans to invest further in our British chocolate manufacturing operations, in new stores and in our digital offering."

The company, which currently has 81 stores, will also invest in its chocolate factory in Cambridgeshire.