Entrepreneur and Dreams founder Mike Clare is rumoured to be considering a float or a sale of his 17-store bed retail chain. One report suggests a £500m flotation; another a £200m sale to private equity firm Exponent.
Clare, 52, is a member of an elite club of entrepreneurs who have built a fast-growing business while retaining a 100 per cent stake in the company. So any sale or float would net him and his wife Carol a huge fortune. Since launching Dreams in 1985, the former furniture salesman has transformed a one-shop business in Uxbridge into Britain’s largest independent bed specialist without a single share passing into others’ hands.
Mike Clare is also one of the most likeable and approachable entrepreneurs you could ever wish to meet. Having said which, it’s only fair to remind him of a quote he gave to Real Business three years ago: “I have five children, and I would no more sell Dreams than Thomas, Edward, Rebecca or Hannah”.
Watch out kids, your time’s up.