Partnership Assurance pushes ahead with London IPO plans

LIFE insurer Partnership Assurance is looking to hire more investment banks as it accelerates plans for a potential £1bn stock market flotation.

Private equity group Cinven, who own the business, already have Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley working on the listing.

Partnership could complete its IPO as early as this summer, with a £1bn valuation that would push the company into the FTSE 250.

It has already hired PR firm Citigate to provide media support ahead of the expected float.

London’s IPO market has returned to life following a moribund 2012 and insurers have proved to be popular with investors, with Direct Line and Esure both enjoying successful market debuts during the last six months.

Partnership specialises in providing financial products for clients with reduced life expectancy, such as annuities for smokers or insurance for members of the public suffering from conditions such as cancer or organ failure.

The company began life in 1995 as a friendly society before demutualising in 2005. Phoenix Equity Partners then sold the business to Cinven for £160m in 2008, meaning the current owners are on track to make a profit of more than £800m in just five years.

Partnership last night declined to comment, while Cinven – which also owns restaurant group Gondola – did not reply to requests for comment.