Commercial broker Hanover Park is aiming to float early next year and plans to use the money for a major spending spree to snap up big brokers.

The business merged into the Erinaceous property services group in August and plans to go public in the first half of 2003. The timing of the float will depend on market conditions.

Hanover Park Commercial managing director Steve Brindley said: "We had hoped at one time to do it before Christmas but, with the stock market taking a bit of a dive, it's about finding the right window of opportunity."

The flotation would give Brindley a war chest of "millions" to spend on buying bigger brokers, he said.

The Hanover Park brand will remain unchanged throughout the process.

There are three possible deals in the pipeline in addition to extra business generated by the ties with Erinaceous, a former Hanover Park customer.

Brindley said: "The intention behind it is to raise money for acquisitions both in terms of property on the Erinaceous side and to allow us the opportunity to buy larger brokers."

Brindley is on the lookout particularly for property business, to fit the group's interests, but is also interested in general brokerage.

The Hanover Park group, which included Home Let until March when it was sold to Erinaceous as part of the acquisition deal, has a commission income approaching £10m.

Its main areas of business are property, fleet and haulage cover through its Truck Insure operation, schemes, sport, media and television and plastics.