Saga sale will net family more than £1bn

ROGER DE HAAN: Will not make any decisions "until the 11th hour". Picture: MATTHEW MCARDLE
ROGER DE HAAN: Will not make any decisions "until the 11th hour". Picture: MATTHEW MCARDLE

ROGER DE HAAN and his family are expecting to make more than a billion pounds from the sale of their Saga empire.

It has been reported that leading buy-out groups have entered the race for the Folkestone-based over-50s holiday and financial services group founded by Mr De Haan's father, Sidney, in 1951.

According to the Financial Times, at least 10 bids of between £1bn and £1.2bn were submitted by the August 19 deadline.

They are thought to include American firms Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Ripplewood, and European groups BC Partners, CVC Capital and Permira.

Others may include JP Morgan Partners, Hg Capital and Candover, as well as representatives of Apax, Cinven, Montagu, Advent and Charterhouse.

One bidder told the FT: "It's a fantastic business. They want more than £1bn for it but we are not sure it is worth it."

Another said: "You are buying this business for its potential rather than cash flows. Its target market (the over-50s) is getting more wealthy."

Mr De Haan, who is on what is called a dual track process, is also considering an initial public offering (IPO) with a share sale to the general public, Saga customers, and institutional investors.

A Saga spokeswoman said he would not make a final decision about which path to choose "until the 11th hour".

Mr De Haan, who has worked in the business since he was 17, will retire as soon as the business is sold, investing a sizeable chunk of the proceeds in local good causes.

They will include regeneration projects in Folkestone and new schools in Shepway and Thanet where Saga has a large call centre.

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