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It’s the old game as Saga ponders a market float

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Saga, the travel and saving and investment services group for mature citizens over 50, is looking at the possibility of a stock market flotation.

The group said that its board and its advisers were exploring various ownership options – some 30 months after the 56-year-old, Folkestone-founded business was sold in a £1.35bn management buyout backed by private equity group Charterhouse.

The business was started by Sidney De Hann in 1951 and sold by his son, Roger, who gave each member of staff a bonus of £1,000 for every year of service they had done with the company.

Charterhouse now owns 80% of the company and set up an employee share scheme at the time of the takeover in 2004.

Chief executive Andrew Goodsell said the firm had made “excellent progress”. He continued: “We are well ahead of expectations and consistently outperforming our business plans.

“The management team and Charterhouse agree that this is an appropriate time to consider the best ownership structure.”

Saga stated that its shares could be floated on the Stock Exchange in the second half of the year, although it emphasised that nothing definite has yet been decided.

Said Goodsell: “It is too early in the process to predict the outcome this time, but we will be making further announcements in due course.”

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