Business World

Monday 14 October 2019

Dublin-listed IFG sold to private equity firm for €240.6m

Kathryn Purves, CEO of IFG
Kathryn Purves, CEO of IFG
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

FINANCIAL services firm IFG is to be sold to private equity firm Epiris GP for £206m (€240.6m).

The offer, which works out at 193p per share, will see SaintMichelCo ("Bidco") acquire the entire share capital of IFG. Bidco is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of the Epiris Funds.

Dublin and London listed IFG has two businesses – James Hay and Saunderson House. James Hay provides pensions administration and investment platform services, and Saunderson House is an independent wealth manager and financial adviser.

This comes after what has been a difficult few years for IFG, as it tackled a number of legacy issues at the group, whose activities are solely based in the UK.

The company, whose CEO is Kathryn Purves, had put its Saunderson House wealth management division up for sale last year, then abandoned that plan. It then overhauled its executive roles. The indecision related to Saunderson House had slowed client wins and client investment decisions.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ms Purves said: “We are pleased to be announcing this transaction today and believe it is an excellent outcome for shareholders, for the company, and for our clients.”

“The offer by Epiris represents a compelling opportunity for shareholders to realise an immediate and attractive cash value for their shareholding in IFG today. In addition, our employees and clients will benefit under the ownership of Epiris which should help accelerate the delivery of IFG's strategic objectives and the underlying strategies of James Hay and Saunderson House."

Elsewhere, and IFG also announces its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

Revenues grew by 12pc to £87.6m (€102m) and adjusted operating profit by 18pc £12.4m (€14.5m) with strong cash generation.

During the year the group reported exceptional costs of £9.9m including a provision of £4.9m in relation to the dual trustee review and £3m retention payments following the cancelled sales process of Saunderson House.

Operating profit (after exceptional costs and amortisation) was £300,000 up from a loss of £400,000 in 2017.

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