Xafinity wants to take on the big boys with its London IPO

Oliver Gill
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A new dawn for Xafinity? The firm hopes the listing will open up new opportunities (Source: Getty)

The £190m float of a mid-tier actuarial and consulting firm will help it break the stranglehold of the largest three market players, its boss said today.

Xafinity announced plans earlier this morning for a London listing and intends to make an official admission to the exchange on Thursday.

Paul Cuff, the company's co-chief executive, told City A.M. he hopes the IPO will take the firm to the next level, allowing it to challenge the "big three" actuarial firms: Willis Tower Watson, Aon Hewitt and Mercer.

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"The IPO is the logical next step in our strategy, enhancing our public profile and status with existing and potential clients and providing access to the capital markets to aid future growth if required," he said.

However, he added that Xafinity did not have any specific deals in the pipeline for acquisitive growth.

Instead, he highlighted the large proportion of repeat revenues the firm is booking – over 90 per cent of sales, depending on the exact definition of a "repeat sale" – and the highly cash generative nature of the business.

The listing provides an exit for private equity firm CBPE Capital, which has previously invested in firms such as Cote restaurants and Park Resorts, with net proceeds of £125.1m.

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The net proceeds from the float are expected to raise £46m. Together with current cash reserves, Xafinity intends to cut borrowing from £86m to £33m.

"We would like to thank CBPE Capital for their key role in building the business over the last four years, providing invaluable support and investment which has contributed to Xafinity’s success as a stand-alone business," said co-chief executive Ben Bramhall.

Xafinity was founded 40 years under the name of Hogg Robinson Benefit Consultants. After it rebranded as Xafinity, it became part of the Equiniti Group in 2010, before being bought by CBPE Capital in 2013.

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