Two years ago, Lord Kirkham, an ambulance driver’s son who left school at 16 to become a furniture salesman, took the firm he founded 36 years ago private in a £508m deal. DFS had been floated on the stock market in 1993, but Kirkham decided to regain control of the Doncaster company and return it to its “basic South Yorkshire values”. DFS has opened 10 stores in the past three years and now trades from 75 sites. Sales reached £576m in 2005.
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