Sunday 30 August 2020 4:57 pm

Former Saga chief to return and invest £100m as part of equity raise plans

Saga, the over-50s travel and insurance specialist, will welcome back former chief executive and chairman Roger de Haan as part of plans to raise £150m in fresh capital.

De Haan sold Saga for £1.3bn in 2004 to private equity group Charterhouse.

Read more: Saga refunds £44m to tourists due to coronavirus disruption

He will inject up to £100m into the company as part of the equity raise in return for a stake of 20 per cent, and will replace Patrick O’Sullivan as the company’s chairman.

Saga will seek the remaining £50m from existing shareholders.

The amount being raised is almost equivalent to Saga’s current market cap which has plunged in recent months, as its cruises and package holidays business took a hammering.

The company said it had rejected an “unsolicited and highly conditional” 33p indicative approach from a consortium of two US private investors.

Saga revealed the 33p offer had followed several earlier approaches from the same investors at a significantly lower valuation.

“The Board unanimously considers that the Proposed Equity Raise will support the execution of its reinvigorated strategy under its strengthened management team, which it believes will return Saga to sustainable growth and lead to the restoration of significant shareholder value”, the company said in a statement today.

When the virus first hit Saga had to bring 3,000 customers back to the UK and in June said it had refunded £44m of advance payments to customers whose travel plans were disrupted.

Read more: Coronavirus: Saga seeks debt holiday and warns cruises could be suspended for six months

Saga has already completed non-core disposals as part of its plans to bolster its balance sheet and implement initiatives to reduce future run rate costs by £20m per year.

The company said recent trading has been in line with expectations and consistent with the trading statement published in June.

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