FT says Aspen planning New York Stock Exchange IPO
Bermuda-domiciled insurer, Aspen, is planning to hold its $4bn initial public offering in New York instead of London, according to the Financial Times.
The report said the move is “partly because of management concerns about valuations and more stringent listing requirements in the UK”.
Aspen, which is owned by Apollo, a private equity group, sells insurance and reinsurance through Lloyd’s as well as in Bermuda and the US.
The non-operating holding company Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited is a Bermuda company.
The FT’s report said that listing by Aspen on the New York Stock Exchange, rather than on the London Stock Exchange, would be a fresh blow to the UK following a number of companies which have chosen to switch their listing to the US.
“The company conducted work to compare listing venues. The factors pushing management against London, according to people familiar with their deliberations, included a diminishing valuation premium over similar New York-listed insurers in recent years — and other technical requirements in London, such as that the company would have had to have one year’s worth of figures reaudited because of a change in auditor.
“It would have also been likely to have to do some work on translating its figures from their US accounting basis.”
The FT report added: “However, people familiar with Apollo’s position said the owner’s base case was always to relist in New York, given its historic ties, its US accounting basis and that the US is its biggest market. They highlighted Watches of Switzerland, the retailer that was more than 90 per cent owned by Apollo before a successful IPO in London in 2019.”
A spokeswoman for Aspen said: “We are not commenting on speculation about our ownership.
“Aspen remains focused on delivering consistently strong underwriting and financial performance. We have made good progress in our transformation and are now entering into a new phase in which we can confidently look at opportunities to drive profitable growth.
“We are confident that, as we continue to deliver on the ambitious plans we set, we are in a strong position and have an exciting future ahead as a leading global specialty re/insurer, whether we continue to be owned by Apollo or under a different structure.”
• This story has been amended to include a comment from Aspen.