Giant consortium to battle for UK insurance brand

Competition is rife for firm with bidding set to reach $875 million

Giant consortium to battle for UK insurance brand

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

‘Two heads are better than one’ must have been what head honchos over at a Qatari reinsurance firm thought when they partnered with a US-based investment firm in the hopes of acquiring British car insurer Sabre.

And it looks like Qatar Reinsurance Company will need all the help it can get from Centerbridge as there’s competition to buy Sabre from its owner, BC Partners. Not to mention plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

“The Centerbridge/Qatar Re consortium is competing with Warburg Pincus, another buyout firm, to buy Sabre, while BC Partners is also pursuing parallel plans for a stock market listing of the company,” said a report by Sky News.

It noted that BC Partners is expected to hire investment banks before the end of June to work on an IPO that the private equity firm believes could value the car insurer at as much as £600 million (approximately S$1.05 billion).

Meanwhile, Qatar Re and Centerbridge are jointly offering more than £500 million (approximately S$875 million). It was not reported how much Warburg Pincus is planning to invest, but The Evening Standard said the Reiss fashion chain owner was the front-runner prior to first round bids coming in three weeks ago.

“Accounts show BC owns 72% of the business, while founder and chief executive Angus Ball has 19%, meaning the sale could value his stake at £114 million (approximately S$199 million). It is not clear whether he will sell any of his shares as part of the deal,” added the British daily.

Sabre, known for car insurance brands Insure2Drive and Go Girl, recorded a post-tax profit of more than £52 million (approximately S$91 million) in 2016..

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