The U.K.-based Admiral Group, a leading private auto insurer, is reportedly on the verge of announcing an official date for the launch of a £225 million ($416 million) initial private offering of around one third of its shares.
The figure values the company at £680 million ($1.258 billion). Admiral’s largest investor is Barclay’s Private Equity (a fund managed by Barclay’s Bank) with a 42.3 percent stake and Germany’s Munich Re with an 18.6 percent stake. According to a report from Reuters The group posted a £71.2 million ($132 million) operating profit in 2003 on turnover of £427 million ($790 million) with premium income growth of 12 percent to £372 million ($688 million). Admiral specializes in providing insurance to people who pay higher premiums, such as young drivers and those with high-performance cars.
Admiral had announced plans for the IPO in April, but had not set the terms or the timing. Current plans now call for the IPO to hit the London stock market around the middle of September. Existing shareholders are reported ready to dispose of some of their holdings at the same time. As much as 35 percent of Admiral could become publicly held.