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Bullish Hyperion looks to 2012 for IPO

Hyperion Insurance Group is working towards a potential initial public offering (IPO) in 2012 if and when a market valuation of £250mn can be met, according to its CEO.

Reports of a possible float first surfaced in late 2009 with a potential valuation of £150mn-£200mn mooted by bankers at the time.

Speaking to The Insurance Insider Hyperion CEO David Howden explained that the broking and underwriting group was experiencing strong organic growth.

Results published by the private equity-backed UK group show it expanded its revenues by 26 percent to £72.2mn for the year ending 30 September 2010.

Although these figures included the 2009 purchase of German broker Hendricks & Co, Howden explained that the newly acquired broker only made up 8 percent of group revenues and that the lion's share of growth was therefore organic.

Howden explained that due to the global financial crisis and a since discontinued foray into the UK solicitors' professional indemnity market, its network of Dual underwriting agencies had seen contributions to Ebitda from profit commissions plateau since peaking at around £8mn three years ago.

Howden said that, with approximately £200mn in gross written premium targeted in 2011, Dual now had far greater economies of scale than three years ago and could achieve "good levels of profitability without profit commissions and bumper levels with them".

Howden confirmed the group was "actively looking for more acquisitions this year" and that building out its Asia platform was a likely focus after an agreement to buy a 75 percent stake in Asian broker Accette in October would bring its headcount to 350.

The group stated in its results announcement that it remained well financed, with significant committed funds from its major private equity backer 3i available for acquisitions, alongside undrawn borrowing facilities.

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