Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle is set to take a key role at Card Factory – the company he founded and sold – following news that the greeting cards firm is to float on the stock exchange.

The Wakefield-based business – sold by Mr Hoyle and his wife Janet in 2010 for a reported £350m – is expected to raise £90m with the flotation, which is reported to value the business at £700m.

The company, which has stores at Huddersfield’s Piazza Shopping Centre and Packhorse Centre, is the latest retailer to seek a stock market listing following recent flotations by Pets at Home, Poundland and

The move will allow Card Factory to pay down debt and expand the number of stores to more than 1,200 in the UK and Ireland over the next 10 years. It will also enable private equity firm Charterhouse to sell some of the shares it bought from the Hoyles to secure a majority stake in the business.

While it is understood that Mr Hoyle no longer has a “significant shareholder interest” in Card Factory, he is still involved in the business.

Chief executive Richard Hayes said: “Going forward, Dean will sit on our operational board as its non-executive director. We are pleased he will be actively involved in the business.”

Card Factory sold more than 285m cards in the year to January 31 – a period when revenues grew by 9% and underlying earnings rose by 9.2% to £80.4m. The company has enjoyed an unbroken record of like-for-like sales growth since its formation. It also sells personalised cards and gifts online and has an in-house printing operation and more than 360,000sq ft of warehousing.

Mr Hayes said: “Our store roll-out strategy is well-proven, with an average of 50 new store openings per annum over the past 10 years and we see the potential for significant further store portfolio expansion.” The company will also look to boost its share of the online market for personalised cards and gifts through its existing presence.

The company had its origins when Mr Hoyle paid £2,000 to buy a greetings card business because he was bored with his job at a Dewsbury engineering firm. He opened his first Card Factory shop in Wakefield in 1997 – taking £1,500 through the till on the first day of trading.

By the time of its sale to Charterhouse, the Hoyles had built up the high street business to 480 stores with 4,500 staff achieving more than 100m transactions a year. Since then, it has expanded to more than 700 shops, 6,500 staff and annual sales of £326m.

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