Monday 22 January 2018

IFG to consider offers from two rival bidders within 10 days


John Mulligan

FINANCIAL services group IFG is inching closer to a potential deal with bidders for the company in advance of releasing interim results next week.

It's been reported that two separate suitors for the company -- British private equity fund Bregal Capital and a firm controlled by the principal behind IFG's single largest shareholder, Fiordland -- have been asked to submit non-binding offers within 10 days.

Due diligence on IFG's books began last month and formal offers to acquire the company were expected within four to six weeks of that process commencing.

Bregal Capital made the first move on IFG in April, indicating it was interested in acquiring the group, which provides pensions and investment advisory services and makes 60pc of its profits in Britain.

However, the indicative offer made by Bregal was deemed by the IFG board to be insufficient.

The approach by Bregal prompted a move by a private equity firm controlled by Edmund Truell, the principal behind IFG's single largest shareholder, Fiordland, to express an interest in acquiring IFG.

Fiordland owns almost 20pc of IFG, having bought into the company via a rights issue in 2009.

IFG currently has a market capitalisation of €201m and an offer for the firm would have to be at a sizeable premium to the current share price of €1.60.

"If there's an opportunity to benefit shareholders, then we'll go down this route," said IFG chairman Joe Moran in June.

"If we feel that it's not real and our advisers tell us, we won't be able to recommend it; and even if we do recommend it, it will be a matter for our shareholders to decide at the end of the day."

Irish Independent

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