BP Marsh gets approach for Hyperion stake

David Hellier
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BP Marsh was yesterday forced by a rising share price to issue a statement confirming that it is in talks with a potential buyer for its 13.5 per cent shareholding in insurance group Hyperion.

The specialist private equity investor said discussions were progressing at a normal pace but there could be no certainty that these would lead to the company disposing of its interest in Hyperion’s shares.

By yesterday’s close news of the interest in the stake had pushed up BP Marsh’s shares by 12.5p to 124.5p.

There has been constant speculation about the future of Hyperion since Tuesday this week after City A.M. reported that 3i, a near 23 per cent shareholder in the insurance group, was in talks with a buyer.

Market sources suggest that a private equity group wants to buy the combined stakes ahead of a possible flotation of Hyperion as soon as 2014. There had been hopes on behalf of some shareholders that a flotation might have come in the latter half of this year.

But Hyperion’s management team, headed by David Howden, prefer to wait until 2014 to further assimilate the purchase of Windsor into the group.

Howden has made it clear that he has no intention of selling his shares in the group just yet.