IFG shares surge on potential takeover news

SHARES in Irish financial services group IFG jumped by 17% yesterday, in reaction to the business announcing that it has received a potential takeover approach.

In a short stock exchange statement, the Dublin-headquartered business — which has inherited a leading position in the growing specialist pension market in Britain, through its acquisition of SIPP (self-invested personal pensions) provider, James Hay — said that it has received an approach “which may or may not lead to an offer” to acquire the company.

IFG’s share price was up by 16.67% — or 25c — at €1.75, yesterday in reaction to the news.

The stock exchange statement added: “Shareholders should note that the approach is preliminary in nature and is subject to a number of conditions. Accordingly, no assurances can be given that a formal offer will be forthcoming or that any transaction will occur.”

A month ago, IFG expressed interest in expanding its presence in the specialist pensions market in Britain, on the back of reporting strong full-year results for 2010.

Those results showed a rise in revenue from €93.3m to €120.6m and adjusted earnings of €21.6m, up from €14.8m. A year of successes — including debt reduction and delivery of earnings at the higher end of forecasts — also led chief executive, Mark Bourke, to say that the group was now positioned to expand organically and by acquisition.


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