Saga unveils flotation plan

Financial services-to-holidays group Saga took the first steps towards a £1bn (€1.5bn)-plus listing on the London Stock Exchange today,

Financial services-to-holidays group Saga took the first steps towards a £1bn (€1.5bn)-plus listing on the London Stock Exchange today,

The group – a provider of services to the over-50s – announced plans for a flotation, although it said a sale of the business could yet be considered.

The move towards a flotation comes after Saga said a poll of its customers indicated there would be strong interest in purchasing shares.

A flotation or sale will provide a windfall for the family of founder Sidney De Haan, who set up the Folkestone-based business from a hotel in 1951.

It now employs about 2,500 people in the town and earlier this year announced annual turnover of £382.7m (€560.6m) and profits of £81.6m (€119.5m).

As well as a leading magazine, it has a database of eight million current and potential customers and near-universal brand awareness among its target market.

Analysts have placed a value of more than £1bn (€1.5bn) on the business, which has already attracted strong interest from private equity houses.

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