Saga staff in line for windfall if float goes ahead

SAGA%20storySaga staff could pocket millions in a pay-out should a potential float or sale of Saga Holdings go ahead.

Close Brothers has been appointed to assist the board of the financial services and leisure company, which sells products to the over-50s, in exploring its future ownership options, including the possibility of a flotation.

Saga employees across the board were given the option to buy a stake in the company at the time of a management buyout in 2004. Now 20% of the company is owned by employees.

Should the float go ahead, the pay-out to those members of staff could be substantial as reports have put a potential valuation of the company at flotation of £2.5bn.

Andrew Goodsell, Saga chief executive, has said that floating the company is an option although it is not yet definitely the route that the company will take. If a float were to go ahead then this would be scheduled for the second half of the year. Goodsell’s own 8% stake could end up being worth approximately £200m, based on reported valuations of the company.

In 2004, the company was the subject of a £1.35bn management buyout which was backed by Charterhouse. When Roger de Haan, the son of Saga’s founder sold out in 2004, he personally paid each employee £1,000 for every year they had worked for the group.