Having spent nine seasons on the TV show, Paphitis broke the record for the largest investment made when in October 2012 he shelled out £250,000 for a stake in internet-based trading hub Zapper, which allows people to get cash for unwanted books, CDs and DVDs.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Paphitis has a net worth of £160 million, putting him third in the Den behind fellow dragons Peter Jones (£402 million) and Duncan Bannatyne (£320 million).
Commenting on his exit from the show, Paphitis says, ‘This has not been an easy decision or one that I have taken lightly, but with the workload involved in growing my exciting, successful new lingerie brand Boux Avenue both in the UK and internationally, the time felt right to give up my seat, stop breathing fire and allow someone else to enjoy the wonderful experience of being a Dragon on BBC hit TV show, Dragons’ Den.’
Retail investor Paphitis added to his portfolio of companies back in July 2012 when he bought struggling kitchenware, DIY, gardening and home office products chain Robert Dyas for an undisclosed amount.
Speaking then, Paphitis, who became the chairman of the company, commented, ‘It is a business which fits well with my investment criteria and the management team have done an excellent job in getting Robert Dyas to where it is today.’
More on Dragons’ Den:
- Dragon’s Den failure SendmyBag packages new funding deal
- Former Dragons’ Den pitcher founds website linking investors with entrepreneurs
- Business TV shows unrealistic about enterprise
In an interview with GrowthBusiness in November 2011, Paphitis had said that he was planning to continue to sit as an investor on Dragons’ Den, but added that seeing his investments grow and develop has given him great joy. He revealed back then that past investment Magic Whiteboard had seen profits ‘soar’ to £202,000, leading to him and fellow Dragon Deborah Meaden taking a £150,000 dividend from the company.
The last new Dragon to join the show was Hilary Devey who, in February 2011, announced she would be joining later in the year to replace the outgoing James Caan. Devey founded of pallet distribution company Pall-Ex after selling her house and car to raise the £112,000 she hadn’t been able to secure through any other way.
As a parting comment, Paphitis announced that ‘I Am Out’ and wished good luck on the new Dragons. No replacement has been announced by the BBC.