Charterhouse seeks interest for Giles stake

David Hellier
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CHARTERHOUSE, the private equity group, has begun sounding out potential buyers for its majority interest in Giles, the Glasgow-based insurance broker that also has offices in the City.

Chris Giles, the chairman, currently owns around 20 per cent of the group’s shares, with the remainder owned by Charterhouse.

City A.M. has been told that informal approaches have been made to those who specialise in the sector to sound out potential interest.

Those who have been approached so far say the sellers are looking for a sale price that looks too full.

The last set of published accounts, which are for the year to August 2011, show earnings before interest of around £24m on an £81m turnover.

The chief executive of Giles is Brendan McManus who joined the group in April 2012.

Prior to that, McManus had previously spent much of his career at RSA, becoming Managing Director of Commercial in 2003.

Charterhouse, which is reported to be having difficulty selling the German metering company Ista and the French catering group Elior, declined to comment on its plans for Giles.

Charterhouse is led by its veteran executive chairman Gordon Bonnyman. It has 20 executives, with an average of twelve years’ experience in private equity.

Charterhouse has been trying to accelerate disposals to return cash to investors but has not been finding the task very easy.