The motor insurer Hastings Direct has confirmed plans for a flotation valuing it at up to Â£1.5bn – raising the prospect of a windfall for hundreds of employees.
As originally reported by Sky's Mark Kleinman , the company confirmed in a statement before the stock market opened that it wants to raise approximately Â£180m from an initial public offering (IPO) in a bid to accelerate its growth.
A successful listing on the FTSE 250 next month will crystallise a huge return for Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank, which paid just Â£150m for more than 45% of Hastings' equity two years ago.
The group has seen rapid growth over the last three years with the number of live customer policies growing at a compound rate of 22.5% across that period.
Profits have grown at the same compound rate.
Just under half of Hastings is owned by the company's founders, with the balance held by management, including Gary Hoffman, the chief executive, & employees.
Mr Hoffman led the turnaround of Northern Rock during its period in Government ownership following the run on the mortgage lender in the autumn of 2007, which heralded Britainâ€™s banking crisis.
Hastings is expected to have a free float of at least 25% on admission to the FTSE 250, the minimum requiredÂ for a UK company listing domestically.Â
Free float represents the portion of shares of a company that are in the hands of public investors.Â
Source: “Sky News”