Karibian cruises to AIM

American entrepreneur George Karibian, who has already built up one £47 million telecoms business in Europe, hopes to stage a repeat performance in Britain in the traditionally prosaic field of office equipment.

He heads Euroffice, a London-based company that he set up five years ago with Italian backing and now hopes to float on AIM next year.

Karibian says Euroffice, which strives to procure office equipment for small and medium-sized companies on better terms than they could obtain themselves, is raising its £11 million annual turnover by 50 to 60 per cent. The company, which he expects to improve this year on previous pre-tax profits of £900,000, has added a flower service and business cards arm and is looking at legal and safety services.

A disciple of Jack Welch, the legendary ex-boss of US giant General Electric, Karibian insists that people at all levels are the key to business success. Euroffice, chaired by ex-Barclays global equities luminary Erroll Bishop, holds regular bonding and brainstorming sessions in Thames Valley hotels, where ideas are welcomed from anywhere in the organisation and rewarded if they pay off.

An AIM float could fund European expansion. Prices are falling in the sector, warns Karibian, who expects ‘2,500 small companies to fold’, and he wants Euroffice to be around to pick up the pieces.

Leslie Copeland

Leslie Copeland

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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