Saga opts for £1.35 billion buyout

DE HAAN: Enormous interest
DE HAAN: Enormous interest

FOLKESTONE-based Saga is to be bought out by its own management for a massive £1.35 billion.

Under the new ownership structure, staff will have the opportunity to become shareholders.

Staff and company pensioners will also receive part of the sale proceeds as a one-off bonus from Roger De Haan. Those eligible will receive £1,000 for every year of service.

Saga's executive management team will remain unchanged, led by chief executive Andrew Goodsell.

The company had been deciding whether to float on the Stock Exchange.

Chairman Roger De Haan said: "There has been enormous interest in this business from both private equity and public markets.

"It has been a very close run decision between the two options, but we feel that a management buy-out, supported by Charterhouse, is in the best interests of the shareholders, employees and customers.

"The management and staff of Saga have built a hugely successful brand, by providing people aged 50 and over with products that provide excellent value and service.

"I am delighted that this will continue with the existing management team led by Andrew Goodsell."

Mr Goodsell said: "The ownership structure that has been established is good news for both customers and staff.

"For customers it secures the same management structure that has for many years ensured that the quality, service and value with which Saga has become synonymous will be upheld.

"For staff it will provide a shareholding in the company and confidence in the continuing integrity of the business.

"During this process we have been overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm shown by customers in this business.

"Looking to the future I hope to have two sets of shareholders in Saga - staff and customers. This process has delivered the first of these, and the second is likely to be achievable in due course."

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