Birmingham City shareholder Ralph Gold has earned himself a £56.5 million windfall after selling his stake in the Ann Summers sex shop chain – to brother David.
Ralph, one of the co-founders of the sex empire, took a £56.5 million dividend as part of a deal that saw him sell his entire stake in the business.
The dividend is disclosed in accounts filed at Companies House by Gold Group International (GGI), the privately held owner of Ann Summers and the Knickerbox retail chain.
David Gold, aged 71, chairman of Birmingham City, bought out Ralph, a non-executive director at St Andrew’s, in December, 2007, in a complex deal that also involved a transfer of properties and an undisclosed private payment.
David Gold, GGI chairman, said the deal with his brother was the culmination of discussions over who would inherit the business.
His two daughters, Jacqueline and Vanessa, run Ann Summers, as chief executive and managing director respectively, while Ralph’s son Bradley has held various roles within GGI. Ralph Gold’s daughter has not been involved in GGI.
“When you read statistics that 71 per cent of second-generation businesses don’t succeed, it makes you think,” David Gold said. “So we felt it was prudent that we planned this succession. The higher the number of beneficiaries, the greater the failure rate. Even if the person who inherits the business is not the sharpest knife in the box, he’s got more chance than if he had a complex set of owners.”
David Gold said he did not “want to see a business that you have spent all your life building put in any danger.”
David denied he had fallen out with his brother over the deal.
“It’s been absolutely amicable,” he said. “When you are in the middle of negotiations things can be a bit trying, but we all believe it’s in everybody’s best interests.”
He said he felt the business was in good hands. “I have two lovely daughters and they’re running the business. Sons tend to be a bit more competitive and can work against you.”