Troubled pensions provider Partnership Assurance is considering dipping into the debt markets after a torrid 2014 wiped about £650 million from its value.
The company, which was hit by reforms announced in last year’s Budget, said it had appointed bankers to work out whether it should raise money through "a sterling-denominated subordinated debt transaction" or bond. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland will begin meeting with fixed income investors on Thursday.
"There can be no certainty that a debt transaction will occur, but the board of Partnership believes that, as announced at the investor day in November, it is in shareholders’ interests to explore opportunities to provide the financial flexibility to invest in new initiatives and to diversify the Group’s sources of funding," it added.
Partnership Assurance specialised in selling annuities to people who are ill and was valued at £1.8 billion when it listed on the London Stock Exchange at 385p in June 2013.
However, George Osborne’s budget scrapped the requirement on people to purchase an annuity with their pension savings, ripping the heart out of Partnership’s market and battering its shares, which were trading at around 133p on Wednesday. The group is now looking at new products and markets.