Towergate boss says firm is still searching for private equity investment

Andy Homer, Towergate’s chief executive, has denied rumours that the company has called in accountant KPMG to help restructure debt repayments.

He also said the company would not make any sales or acquisitions until the market had settled.

The firm spent £34.8m on servicing debts and £20.4m on preference shares in 2007, its last accounts show. It carries loans and facilities worth almost £600m against earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £108.5m.

It renegotiated its banking covenants with Lloyds in November last year. Homer said he was “100% confident” of satisfying the bank’s tests, due at the end of this year.

As reported in Insurance Times last week,Towergate has received offers for Hayward Aviation, the light aircraft and helicopters broker. But Homer said the “opportunity to buy was greater than the opportunity to sell”.

The search for private equity investment continued, said Homer, but private equity houses were waiting for banks to get back on a stable footing.