Saga, the financial services and leisure group which targets the over-50s, is set to land its staff a £500m windfall and is considering a stock market flotation, says the Daily Telegraph .
The company has appointed the investment bank Close Brothers to help it with "future ownership options", with a stock market float as one of the most likely. Any deal is expected to value the company at £2.5bn.
This is the latest chapter in what has become an incredible success story for the British company, which has cashed in on the booming "grey" market, says the paper.
Close Brothers' appointment comes after Charterhouse, the private equity backer of Saga, revealed it was exploring its options after it had received several unsolicited approaches for the company.
Chief executive Andrew Goodsell said: "A float is not a foregone conclusion, but we're very 'IPOable.' We will be knocking on the door of the FTSE and it would be a great story."
FRESH EVIDENCE of a slowdown in the housing market emerged today as the Bank of England's decision on whether to hold or raise interest rates appeared to hang in the balance, reports the Times.
According to Halifax house prices rose by 1% in March - the second smallest increase since August last year – following an increase of 1.8% last month.
In the first quarter, and following three increases to the cost of borrowing, house prices rose by 2.8%, which Halifax said was "well below" the 4.2% increase the previous quarter.
Tim Crawford, Halifax's group economist, said: "Prices continue to rise in a tight market but there are emerging signs that pressure on householders' finances partly due to the rise in interest rates since last summer, are dampening housing demand with evidence of reduced market activity."
Interest rates currently stand at 5.25%, with the Bank due to unveil the monthly decision of its Monetary Policy Committee at noon.
GORDON BROWN was accused yesterday of cutting pension benefits for millions of workers while he enjoyed one of the most generous occupational schemes in the country, says the Guardian.
The Liberal Democrat pensions spokesman, Lord Matthew Oakeshott, said the chancellor would have a gold-plated pension pot worth more than £3.5m if he became prime minister, at a time when many workers were struggling to save for an adequate retirement income.
He said the chancellor's decision 10 years ago to strip pension funds of a £5bn-a-year tax credit had done immense harm to occupational schemes, yet would leave MPs' pensions unaffected after successive parliamentary votes to make up the shortfall with taxpayers' funds.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7034 2680 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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