Directors to share pounds 10m in 'Lloyd's List' float

FOUR DIRECTORS of LLP Group, the information company which publishes Lloyd's List and Insurance Day, will share more than pounds 10m when the company floats on the Stock Exchange in the spring.

Four executive directors control 10 per cent of the company, which is likely to be priced between pounds 120m-pounds 130m. They include Stuart Wallis, who was chief executive of drug group Fisons when it was taken over by Rhone Poulenc, the French chemicals giant. Chief executive David Gilbertson, finance director Peter Miller and deputy chairman Ian Lindsay-Smith will also share in the bonanza.

LLP's management bought the company from Lloyd's, the insurance market, for pounds 82.5m in December 1995 with backing from venture capitalists 3i. At the time, they are thought to have fought off rival bids from publishing groups including Reed Elsevier.

Another 15 per cent of the share capital is divided between the employees. Almost two-thirds of the company's 540 staff have either shares or options in the company.

Mr Wallis said the company needed a stock market listing to allow its backers to realise some of their investment, and to give its employee shareholders a market for their shares.

The company is also planning to expand into new products and titles, though it has not yet decided how much new money it plans to raise.

LLP has three divisions: news and commercial, reference and professional and data analysis. The company has four offices in the UK and another four overseas, serving over 75,000 in 180 countries. In the year to last December, the company made an operating profit of pounds 10.3m on turnover of pounds 48.4m.

Its flagship publication, Lloyd's List, was first published in 1734. However, the company has used the brand to launch a whole host of related publications, as well as books, directories, a conference programme and a range of corporate gifts.

No final date has been set for the flotation, though Mr Wallis said the company would probably wait until the Budget was out of the way. He said the company had grown quite quickly, making several acquisitions in the two years since the buyout.

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