Back to About Me


September 24, 1959
Announcement Image

Theo was born in Limassol on 24th September. One of three brothers.

Emigrated to Britain

June 3, 1966
Announcement Image

Theo and the family emigrated to the UK. Here the family are pictured on the jetty in Venice before embarking on their new life in England.

Life in Manchester

August 17, 1967
Announcement Image

The Paphitis family band, their first and last attempt! The family lived in a house that overlooked Old Trafford. A sign of things to come perhaps….

Moved to London

March 1, 1969
Announcement Image

Theo and the family moved to Finsbury Park, London.

Theo’s First Job

August 17, 1971

Theo experienced his first taste of work! Delivering flyers for a mini cab company at the age of 12.

First Entrepreneurial Spark

February 6, 1974

Theo launched a school tuck shop which made him one of the most popular kids at school!

First City Job

August 17, 1976

The first official job Theo had was as a tea boy and filing clerk at a City of London insurance broker. Earning £20 per week

First Taste Of Retail

February 17, 1978
Announcement Image

At the age of 18 Theo began working for Watches of Switzerland on Old Bond Street. On his first day he realised that retail was his passion and he sold a Rolex!

Married Mrs P

June 23, 1978
Announcement Image

Insurance Industry

April 17, 1980

At the age of 21 Theo joined Legal & General and began selling commercial mortgages

Set Up His First Company

April 17, 1982
Announcement Image

Theo’s first taste in setting up a company came at the age of 23. Theo set up a property finance company using the experience he had gained at L&G.

Back into the City with Astra

March 1, 1987

Theo moved back into the city and became Chairman and Chief Executive of Astra and began cutting his teeth in the City. This turned out to be a very painful experience!

Movie Media Sports

March 1, 1989

Theo, with his business partner Ian Childs purchased MMS, a sports marketing agency, out of administration.

Moved into Mobile

August 7, 1992

Theo acquired a majority stake in NAG Telecom and with it, its three London stores.

Acquired Ryman Stationery

July 18, 1995
Announcement Image

The mobile phone industry introduced Theo to the troubled retailer Ryman Stationery and soon after Theo purchased Ryman, and its 80 stores, from the receivers. The beginning of Theo’s retail empire!

Moved into Lingerie

August 17, 1996
Announcement Image

Theo soon realised that Ryman was too small a business to keep him fully occupied so, when the opportunity arose, Theo acquired Contessa Lingerie.

Millwall FC Acquired

July 18, 1997
Announcement Image

Theo led a consortium and became Chairman, acquiring Millwall FC from administration in 1997. As Chairman of Millwall, Theo and the club eventually managed to reach the 2004 FA Cup Final.

Acquired La Senza

July 18, 1998
Announcement Image

Theo expanded his retail brands by one more as he acquired La Senza from Canadians who had expanded into the UK but were struggling to make it work.

Movie Media Sports Sold

March 2, 2000
Announcement Image

Movie Media Sports was sold to Octagon Worldwide.

Partners Stationery

July 2, 2001
Announcement Image

After trying to buy Partners Stationery for several months Theo was finally able to buy the retailer once it went into the hands of the receivers.

Into the Den

January 17, 2005
Announcement Image

Theo joined the BBC Dragons’ Den which was a large part of his life for eight series until his departure in 2012 to focus on the retail brands.

Acquired Red Letter Days with Peter Jones

July 18, 2005
Announcement Image

Out of Lingerie (temporarily!)

December 17, 2006
Announcement Image

Theo sold his stake in La Senza and Contessa to Lion Capital.

Bought Stationery Box

August 17, 2007
Announcement Image

Theo purchased Stationery Box and began the re-brand of the stationery businesses into the Ryman Stationery brand.

Partners and Stationery Box combined under Ryman name

July 2, 2008
Announcement Image

The Stationery Box and Partners brands are combined under the Ryman Stationery brand.

Boux Avenue launched….back into lingerie!

July 18, 2011
Announcement Image

Boux Avenue is launched initially with the opening of six stores and the launch of

Robert Dyas Acquired

January 1, 2012
Announcement Image

Theo purchased the Ironmongery and Homewares retailer Robert Dyas.

Back to Sport

July 18, 2013
Announcement Image

Theo and Ian Childs invested in MB Partners, the sports marketing and management business founded by the former F1 driver Mark Blundell. Following the investment Theo became Chairman of MB Partners.

Theo Paphitis Retail Group founded

July 28, 2015
Announcement Image

Combining Boux Avenue, Ryman Stationery and Robert Dyas under one retail brand

Back to About Me