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Heritage to float in August, say reports

Lloyd’s insurer Heritage Underwriting Agency plc plans to make its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) next month, according to reports in The Daily Telegraph last week.

The insurer is expected to issue prospectuses to its 1,400 private investors as early as this week, said the report, with the company likely to have a market capitalisation of £45mn after its placing of around £15mn.

As reported in the June issue of our sister publication The Insurance Insider, Heritage is still keen to proceed with its planned flotation despite the sudden resignation of its renowned underwriter, Les Rock.

At the time, a company spokesman suggested Rock decided to retire “after a successful career at Heritage”.

He continued: “Heritage is considering the IPO, subject to market conditions”.

Rock is one of the London market’s leading property underwriters and his Syndicate 1200 closed its 2003 year with a 28 percent return on capacity – making it one of the best performing Lloyd’s syndicates. Despite the industry’s heavy storm losses, Syndicate 1200 is currently predicting a modest loss of 3.6 percent of stamp for 2005 and a profit of 5.5 percent in 2004.

Despite the suggestions of a retirement, most observers expect the former Faraday underwriter will reappear in due course.

Heritage first announced it was considering an AIM listing in May, together with plans to form a £50mn capacity new syndicate. The insurer is owned 23 percent by HCC Insurance Holdings Ltd.

Heritage has appointed KBC Peel Hunt as company broker, together with Hines Associates Ltd as the company’s financial adviser.

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