High Street Insurer A-Plan Plots £300m Sale
A-Plan Holdings, one of the biggest insurance brokers on British high streets, is plotting a £300m sale that would reap a big return for its investors.
Sky News understands that A-Plan's controlling shareholder, the private equity group Equistone, is close to hiring Evercore Partners, an advisory firm, to oversee an auction.
A-Plan sells home, car and commercial insurance policies through a network of approximately 70 branches, and is unusual in promoting its physical sales model rather than through internet or telephone channels.
The company has 550,000 policy-holding customers in the UK, making it a significant player in the industry.
Established during the 1960s, it last changed hands in 2008, when Barclays Private Equity backed a management buyout of the company.
Insiders believe it could now be worth in the region of £300m, a price tag that would crystallise a windfall worth about £100m for dozens of senior managers.
Barclays offloaded its private equity unit to its top executives in 2011, part of a trend of big banks divesting their principal investment units as they sought to comply with new capital requirements in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
A-Plan's prospective sale follows a busy period of deals involving leading insurance brands.
Esure listed on the London Stock Exchange last year, although its shares have performed disappointingly since its flotation.
Royal Bank of Scotland has sold its entire shareholding in Direct Line Group, part of a package of disposals ordered by Brussels in return for the lender's bailout in 2008.
An Equistone spokeswoman declined to comment on the A-Plan sale.