Herbert Smith leads Saga towards flotation

Herbert Smith has scooped a role advising Saga on its potential IPO.

Saga, which specialises in holidays and insurance products for the over-50s, is exploring the possibility of an IPO in the second half of this year.

The company was the subject of a £1.35bn management buyout backed by private equity firm Charterhouse in 2004. Herbert Smith acted for the then owner Roger De Haan and the company on the deal.

The firm, which declined to comment, won the latest instruction on the back of the relationship corporate partner Ben Ward had previously built up with the company.

Saga is looking into a flotation due to the expansion it has experienced since 2004. Its core markets, such as motor and home insurance, have grown, while its number of cruise ships has increased from one to three. It has also added products such as a service for buying holiday or retirement homes overseas, health clubs and new financial products, including equity release and long-term care funding.

Investment banks Merrill Lynch and UBS are giving Saga financial advice on the prospective flotation and, if it goes ahead, will act as joint bookrunners. UBS will also perform the role of sole global coordinator and sponsor. Both banks are being advised by Allen & Overy.