£39,000 staff windfalls as Admiral sets flotation price

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The Independent Online

Car insurer Admiral today unveiled details of a stock market flotation expected to hand average windfalls of about £39,000 to its 1,450 staff.

Car insurer Admiral today unveiled details of a stock market flotation expected to hand average windfalls of about £39,000 to its 1,450 staff.

Admiral said it was setting the price per share of its initial public offering at 275p, giving the company a market value of £711 million at the start of unconditional dealings next Tuesday.

The price is in the middle of the 245p to 300p range at which the firm marketed the offering to institutions earlier this month.

It will reportedly make Admiral the largest UK initial public offering this year.

The float will see 32.5 per cent of the company's share capital sold by existing investors, of which the largest group is Admiral's 1,450 staff, who own some 47 per cent of the company.

The workers are expected to receive average windfalls of £39,000 from the flotation of the group, which employs most of its staff at call centres in Cardiff and Swansea.

Although executive directors and senior managers will land the biggest windfalls, Admiral has said even the most junior workers should receive at least £10,000.

Conditional dealings in the company's ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange began at 8am today.

Admiral's chief executive Henry Engelhardt said the global offer had generated a strong response from institutional investors.

"I'm absolutely thrilled with the outcome," he said.

Chairman Alastair Lyons added: "We look forward to continuing to create value for all our shareholders as we pursue our successful focused business strategy."

A spokeswoman for the group said the average windfall per member of the insurer's 1,450 staff had risen from a previously reported £37,000 to £39,000 due to an upward revision of the midpoint of the original price range.

The company was launched as a small start-up in 1993 by the Brockbank Group, a subsidiary of XL Capital, with a particular focus on car owners who traditionally pay higher than average premiums.

In 1999, it was sold to the management team in a buy-out backed by Barclays Private Equity, which retains about a third of the shares.

It has grown rapidly through the growth of internet brands including elephant.co.uk and its women's motor insurance company Diamond.

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