Spotlight on. THEO PAPHITIS

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Image: King of the Dragons Best known for: Dragons' Den Early life: Born in 1959 in Limassol, Cyprus, Paphitis came to England with his parents and brother, Marinos, when he was six years old. He went on to attend the local comprehensive school in North London where they failed to detect his dyslexia, but began his entrepreneurial activities by running his school tuck shop, at the age of 15.



Career: Aged 23, he set up a property finance company, making his first money on the rise of the 1980s commercial property markets. Spotting the rise in mobile telephones, he bought into NAG Telecom. Paphitis gained massive market share for NAG by negotiating concessionary positions in Ryman stationery stores. When Ryman went into receivership, Paphitis bought the company and turned it into a major success. His ventures now include Ryman, Contessa, and Partners. In 2006, he sold his equity stake in the UK and EU segment of the global lingerie brand, La Senza, for a reported pounds 100m. After appearing on series four of the BBC Back to the Floor series while chairman at Millwall FC, and selling his stake a year later, Paphitis was approached to become one of the "dragons" in the second series of the BBC Two entrepreneurship series Dragons' Den in 2005. …