Sabre Insurance in flotation plans to raise up to £213m
SABRE INSURANCE has announced plans for a London flotation that is expected to raise up to £213m, valuing the UK firm at around £600m.
The December Initial Public Offering (IPO) will end five years under the ownership of private equity group BC partners, which acquired Sabre – known for products including Drive Smart, Insure 2 Drive and Go Girl – for £240m in 2013.
It is understood that the listing could value the firm at up to £600m.
The company was considering a number of options including a private sale, but chief executive Geoff Carter confirmed that flotation was preferable, as it would safeguard the firm from a potential overhaul under new owners.
“We’ve had quite a good look at various options. The reason we like the IPO, and it’s our preferred option, is we have a very successful strategy and this seems to be to us the best way of continuing to follow and evolve that strategy.”
But he assured that the decision to float was not for lack of interest from private buyers.
“We had plenty of people who were extremely interested, our view is that the IPO is the best way going forward.”
The business has experienced growth of around 10 per cent in recent years, and Mr Carter said the company is set for “high single digit growth” going forward.
The company generated gross written premiums of £197m in the year December 1, 2016, and had an average of 325,000 policies in force over that period.
The IPO comes as a surprise after at least two firms decided to hold fire on their respective listings earlier this month amid high market uncertainty.
TV and mobile infrastructure firm Arqiva “postponed” plans for a £6bn listing at the start of November, saying that it would revisit the flotation “once IPO market conditions improve”.
Had it gone ahead, it would have been one of the biggest listings this year. Bakkavor, the UK’s biggest maker of hummus, last week said it was pressing ahead with its flotation, which came just days after saying that the transaction would not be in the best interest of shareholders given volatility in the IPO market.
It is understood that the group U-turned on its decision after discussions with investors.
GEOFF CARTER:‘Our view is that the IPO is the best way going forward.’