Fresh plans emerge for motor insurer Sabre

Motor insurer Sabre

Specialist UK motor insurer Sabre has hired Barclays and Numis Securities to advise it on a potential stock exchange listing, Sky News reports.

Sky News said that the float could value Sabre at more than £500m.

Sabre and its current private equity owner BC Partners both declined to comment when contacted by Insurance Times.

News of the adviser hires follows the revelation in June, also by Sky News, that Qatar Reinsurance Company is interested in buying Sabre from BC Partners for £500m in a joint bid with US-based investment firm Ceterbridge.

Sky News said that discussions with the Centerbridge/Qatar Re consortium continue, but a rival bidder, private equity firm Warburg Pincus, has dropped out.

BC Partners has owned Sabre since 2013.

Sabre is known for its strong underwriting results.

The motor insurer had a good year in 2016 despite taking a £2.2m one-off hit related to the Ogden discount rate cut.

It reported a 69% combined operating ratio for 2016, an improvement of 5.7 points on the 74.7% it reported in 2015.