Partnership soars on debut with shares opening 17% above listing price


Partnership Assurance breathed new life into the London Stock Exchange today.

Shares in the company, which specialises in giving better pensions to people who are ill, opened trading about 17 per cent above their 385p listing price. This valued the insurer at more than £1.8 billion.    

Blackrock and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund were among the investors in the stock market listing. This raised £485 million for Partnership and its investors, including boss Steve Groves, who netted a cool £12 million.   

He said: "The appetite for Partnership's differentiated growth story is reflected in the strong, high-quality investor demand our IPO has attracted. I now look forward to executing the next phase of our strategy to expand our reach and market share."

Private-equity firm Cinven, which bought Partnership for £158 million in 2008, said it had made seven times its original investment. Cinven will retain a 52 per cent stake in the group worth about £800 million.

Partnership is the latest company to join the LSE this year, following Crest Nicholson, Countrywide and Esure.

The group is likely to join the FTSE 250 at the market's next reshuffle in September, although critics doubt its long-term prospects, claiming it will face growing competition from mainstream annuity providers.