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IFG to sell Irish business for E13.5m

Thursday, August 28 10:25:56

Financial services group, IFG, today said it is to sell its Irish businesses to risk management firm Willis Ireland for a total of E13.5m.

The sale price consists of of an initial consideration of E11.5 million payable on completion; and up to E2 million in contingent deferred consideration, payable following the second anniversary of the sale dependent upon revenue of the new combined business over this period, IFG said.

The deal includes IFG Pensions, Investments and Advisory Services through IFG Pensco Limited, Retirement Strategies Limited and IFG Private Clients Limited, both financial advisory companies. It also includes Planlife Trustee Services Limited , a professional trustee company and Trade Credit Brokers Limited, a trade credit insurance broker.

The sale does not include its Irish general insurance business, which trades as ARB Underwriting, however it is currently in discussions about also selling this interest.

IFG Ireland chief executive Gary Owens is to join Willis Group as part of the sale, resigning from IFG's board.

Profit before tax for the businesses being sold for the first six months of 2014 was Stg0.1 million (E0.1 million). Gross profit increased from Stg0.1 million (H1, 2013) to Stg0.4 million (H1, 2014). The achievement of profitability in the last year follows planned investment in the business and reflected continuing improvement in its underlying performance. Gross assets as of 30 June 2014 were Stg13.7 million (E17.2 million).

Paul McNamara, CEO of IFG Group, welcomed the agreement saying "The newly combined business, backed by the global scale and presence of Willis, represents a compelling opportunity for our colleagues and enhanced services for clients. This transaction is consistent with our strategy to focus on the continued growth and development of James Hay Partnership and Saunderson House. The sales proceeds will further strengthen our balance sheet and facilitate investment in these businesses. IFG is now a more sharply focused Group with well-positioned businesses and the resources to pursue increased growth in our core markets.

IFG also this morning posted its interim report for the first half of this year showing revenue from continuing businesses that increased by 8pc to Stg34.1 million and operating profit from continuing businesses of Stg4.3 million, compared to the Stg5.2m it recorded in the same period a year ago.

Commenting on the results, Paul McNamara, CEO of IFG Group plc, said: "IFG Group now has a sharper strategic focus on our strongly performing core businesses in James Hay Partnership and Saunderson House. Our solid financial position will be strengthened further following the disposal of non-core businesses and the agreed sale of the Irish businesses. With positive business momentum and a strong liquid balance sheet facilitating organic and inorganic growth, the Group is well positioned for the future."

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