UK insurer Saga planning a $5 bln London listing, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – British insurance company Saga is planning a London stock market debut that could value the company at 3 billion pounds ($5.1 billion), two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Saga, which is owned by Permira, Charterhouse and CVC, would raise at least 750 million pounds assuming the London Stock Exchange’s minimum free float of 25 percent, one of the sources said.

The over-50s insurer will announce its intention to float next week, the sources said.

Saga was acquired along with the Automobile Association (AA) by its private equity owners in 2007. The consortium paid 6.3 billion pounds for the two firms, which were then merged under Acromas, a newly-formed parent holding company.

The company, which also offers cruises and a dating service, is seeking a sizeable retail offering in what has been a bumper year for London listings. It has sent out letters to its approximately 2.5 million customers as it targets its own comfortably-off customer base.

There has been a growing number of British companies seeking stock market debuts this year. On Wednesday cake shop chain Patisserie Valerie said it was planning a stock market listing, following those of Poundland and Pets at Home .

Last month, Thomson Reuters data showed that London listings reached their highest since the first quarter of 2007 as companies cash in on firm equity markets.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs will lead the deal, with Credit Suisse and Citi as joint bookrunners, one of the sources said.

“We are preparing ourselves for a potential IPO,” said Paul Green, director of communications at the over-50s insurance firm. Permira and BAML declined to comment. CVC, Charterhouse and the other banks were not immediately available to comment.