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IFG shares surge as interest grows

SHARES in IFG surged 11.5pc in early trading yesterday, after the Irish financial services company said it has received a second takeover approach in less than a month. The company is valued at close to €240m.

Shares in the pension business closed up almost 9pc on the day at €1.9 each. News of a second bidder points to a possible takeover battle, a rarity on the Irish stock exchange since the end of the boom.

The firms considering bids are understood to be Fiordland, an investment vehicle that already owns 19pc of IFG, and UK based private equity firm Bregal Capital.

IFG has not confirmed the identity of either potential bidder. The company did not return calls last night.

Traders said interest in the business was spurred by a share price that has trailed its peers, and by IFG's increasingly strong position in the UK.

One trader said last night that bidders were moving in because IFG's UK business could see a rapid boost in earnings once UK interest rates rise.

IFG Group reported a 29pc rise in revenue to €120.6m in results for the year to the end of December, boosted by recent expansion into the UK.

Irish Independent