Partnership launches £1.8bn flotation

Suzie Neuwirth

PARTNERSHIP Assurance’s stock market debut was valued at £1.8bn today, after strong demand enabled the specialist life insurer to bring forward its IPO ahead of schedule.

Shares were sold near the top end of the price range, at 385p per share, and opened trading at a 17 per cent premium to the listing price.

The company sells more generous annuities to members of the public with reduced life expectancy, such as smokers or people with heart disease.

Chief executive Steve Groves received £12m from selling a quarter of his stake in the offering.

Groves’ management team owns 15 per cent of the company and private equity firm Cinven own 80 per cent. Cinven, which bought Partnership in June 2008 for around €200m (£172m),said it had made a return of more than seven times its original investment.

BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are joint sponsors and joint global co-ordinators of the deal, with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Panmure Gordon & Co acting as co-lead managers. Evercore is financial adviser to the company.