The Glaswegian family behind the fast-growing fashion chain Quiz are now among Scotlandâs richest after selling a Â£92m stake in a business investors hope will be the next Boohoo.
The high street fashion chain is set to be valued at Â£200m when it floats on Aim, the junior London stock market, later in July. The retailer was founded by entrepreneur Tarak Ramzan in the early 1990s but the windfall is being shared among nine family members including sons Sheraz and Haris, who will continue to work for the chain.
âIâm in the office today and planning to focus all my time and effort here,â said Sheraz Ramzan, Quizâs chief commercial officer. âItâs an exciting time [for the family], I wonât lie, but we are very grounded and focused on the goals we have set.â
Tarak Ramzan, who at 64 is the driving force behind the business, will continue to run it as chief executive. His father Mohammad emigrated from Pakistan to Scotland in the 1940s and went on to found a successful manufacturing business, which he handed on to his son when he was 18.
However, the change in the companyâs ownership structure will result in a number of family members leaving the business. Tarakâs wife, Nusrat, who was being paid a salary of Â£15,000 as a product adviser, has resigned after the couple banked about Â£25m. Sherazâs wife, Romana, is giving up her Â£15,000 a year job as a social media adviser after the couple sold shares worth more than Â£20m.
At a time when high street fashion sales are transferring online, investors are are excited about the growth prospects of fashion websites such as Boohoo that appeal to phone-addicted millennial shoppers. After a rocky start in 2014, Boohooâs flotation has been a roaring success with its shares soaring from their debut price of 50p to 221p, valuing the company at Â£2.6bn.
Sheraz Ramzan said Quiz was different to Boohoo as it pursued several routes to market, operating 73 UK stores and 165 department store concessions as well as a website. It operates in 19 countries through deals with franchise and online partners.
Analysts said institutional investors, who include Schroders and BlackRock, were impressed by Quizâs strong financial track record. Sales jumped nearly 30% to Â£89.8m in the year to 31 March while operating profit increased 44% to Â£10.3m.
Current trading was strong with total sales up 37% in April and May compared with a year ago. Within that, online sales were up 118% while its stores and concessions delivered like-for-like sales growth of 16%.
The City was impressed by the recent appointment of JD Sports Fashion boss Peter Cowgill as non-executive chairman. After the listing, the family will still own 48.7% of the company but have committed not to sell any more shares for a year.