Speciality insurer and reinsurer Aspen is planning to choose New York for launching its $4bn initial public offering (IPO) rather than London, the Financial Times has reported.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report claimed that this decision is partially due to the insurer’s existing management concerns about “a diminishing valuation premium”, compared with similar New York-listed insurers in recent years.
Another reason to prefer New York over London is the strict and technical listing requirements in the UK. For instance, it would be mandatory for Aspen to have “one year’s worth of figures reaudited” due to a change in auditor.
Before this decision, Aspen also carried out a comprehensive comparison work to choose its listing venue.
“As the relative valuations narrowed, then the technical issues become more impactful and greater liquidity in the US was also ‘an important factor’,” one of the sources told the Financial Times.
Aspen, which has the majority of its operations in the UK, is a Bermuda-based company that was acquired by private equity group Apollo in 2019.
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The company provides a range of insurance and reinsurance product offerings through the Lloyd’s of London market and across Bermuda and the US.
Founded in 2002, the company was initially listed on the New York Stock Exchange before its acquisition by Apollo.
The insurer is now planning an IPO with an estimated enterprise value at listing of up to $4bn in the first half of 2024.
Aspen is being advised by Goldman Sachs, Citi and Jefferies on its planned IPO, the report added.
In another report by City A M, an Aspen spokeswoman was quoted as saying: “We are not commenting on speculation about our ownership. We are in a strong position and have an exciting future ahead as a leading global speciality reinsurer, whether we continue to be owned by Apollo or under a different structure.”