Mandates fly out for privatisation of Irish state health insurer VHI

ADVISORY mandates for the €500m (£422m) privatisation of Ireland’s national health insurance provider go out this week, with the sale likely to take place in 2012.

The state-owned Voluntary Health Insurance company made a loss of €70m last year, but is predicted to turn a profit of €60m after a “substantial” but as-yet unspecified recapitalisation by the government. The company could have a market capitalisation of eight times that figure, according to analysts.

VHI’s privatisation is good news for rival health insurers as the firm will have to comply with regulatory solvency standards for the first time, forcing it to hold 40 per cent of premiums as a cash reserve.