Two brothers behind one of Britain’s leading e-cigarette makers plan to raise at least £20m to fund expansion. Taz and Umer Sheikh, who founded Gamucci in 2007, have been holding talks with potential advisers, thought to include Jefferies, the investment bank, about handling the fundraising.
Gamucci is unusual among British e-cigarette suppliers because it does its own manufacturing. It also has patent protection for its smoking device, which is sold by retailers such as Waitrose.
Sales of e-cigarettes have grown rapidly as they have gained acceptance from smokers looking for healthier alternatives to tobacco. Canaccord Genuity, the stockbroker, forecast the market would be worth $3bn (£2bn) this year, compared with $2bn in 2012. It said e-cigarettes were “the most significant development in the history of the organised tobacco industry”.
Tobacco giants are investing in e-cigarettes and similar devices to insure against falling sales of traditional cigarettes. British American Tobacco, for example, bought Manchester-based CN creative and backs Kind Consumer, which is developing a nicotine inhaler.
By Matthew Goodman