Ex-Morrison Chair Tapped for Insurer Ardonagh Signals Potential for IPO
(Bloomberg) -- Ardonagh Group Ltd. has hired Andrew Higginson, who helped engineer this year’s sale of British grocer Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, as chairman of its retail insurance business.
Higginson will oversee a unit of brands including Swinton Insurance, Carole Nash and Autonet, according to a statement Wednesday that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report.
Ardonagh runs four units -- international, specialty, advisory and retail -- and has been working with financial services-focused Fenchurch Advisory Partners LLP to explore options for the retail businesses, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.
The appointment of Higginson is an indication that retail can exist as a standalone business and may be a contender for an initial public offering. The unit has earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about 125 million pounds ($166 million), the person said. In September, Ardonagh appointed Ian Donaldson as chief executive officer of retail.
A representative for Ardonagh declined to comment.
Higginson is a veteran of U.K. business, having spent almost 15 years at supermarket operator Tesco Plc that included a spell in charge of its banking operation. He also previously chaired the budget retailer Poundland and helped list it via an IPO in 2014. Higginson has most recently served as chairman of Morrison, which agreed to a 7 billion-pound takeover by private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice in October.
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