A FORMER South Bromsgrove High School pupil has become of the UK’s wealthiest young entrepreneurs after his company Gymshark was valued at over £1billion.
Ben Francis founded the popular fitness clothing brand while living in his parents’ garage, aged 19.
The now 28-year-old confirmed on Friday that his company had sealed an investment deal which will value Gymshark, based in Solihull, at around the £1billion mark.
The valuation came after US-based private equity firm General Atlantic sealed an investment in the company to take a 21 per cent stake.
It will allow Gymshark to expand internationally.
Based on the value, Mr Francis’ stake in Gymshark is worth a whopping £700m.
Mr Francis said: “One billion pound brand. Never thought this would happen.
“Now let’s make this the greatest fitness community, and one of the all time great British brands.”
Mr Francis added that a video revealing a behind-the-scenes look at the £1billion deal will go live on his social media tonight (August 17).
Catshill North councillor Jo Till said on Twitter: “Ben, an inspiration to the young people of Bromsgrove (and wider) that you can achieve anything, no matter how young you are if you just put your mindset to it. Keep up the good work.”
Last year a group of GCSE and A-level textiles students from South Bromsgrove High were shown around Gymshark’s new headquarters.
Textiles teacher Jenny Hawthorn told the Standard that the the students really enjoyed the experience and were able to see, first-hand the entire design process and see how the gym wear was created.
Ben said the visit was something he would have appreciated when he was at school and invited the group to visit again in the future.