Staff who own shares could receive as much as £170m

Cooper Gay has appointed UBS to prepare it for a £250m stock exchange listing this year or next that could mean a shareout of as much as £170m for 160 employees who own 70% of the company, The Times reports.

Chief executive Toby Esser owns the biggest stake.

The other 30% is owned by Portuguese investment giant Sonae, which has helped to fund the company’s expansion.

The business was founded by David Gay and the late Derek Cooper in 1965. Gay will miss out because he sold his shares back to the company when he retired as a non-executive director in 2005.