ACHP, the former owner of legacy outsourcing firm Pro Global, is “assessing options” to dispose of its 30 percent stake in Lloyd’s third party managing agent Asta.
ACHP holds one-third of the voting shares and 30 percent of the economic rights in Asta Capital, the parent of Asta Managing Agency.
In a 1 June Stock Exchange announcement, ACHP said it is “exploring and assessing options to dispose of this investment at the right time and at an appropriate price”.
It added that it is cooperating with other Asta shareholders and management “to minimise any disruption to the Asta business”.
According to its website, Asta currently manages ten Lloyd’s syndicates, two Lloyd’s SPAs and two MGA clients, with over £1.4bn of underwriting capacity under its management. ACHP is the only Asta shareholder considering an exit.
In April 2016, ACHP sold all its operating subsidiaries, comprising various companies engaged in providing outsourcing and consulting services to the insurance industry, the principal company being Pro Insurance Solutions Limited. Following the sale, its stake in Asta remains its sole asset.
ACHP directors believe that that the benefits to the company of being listed are now minimal or non-existent and that the listing no longer promotes the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole.
As such they are proposing to delist the company, citing excessive costs, an insufficient market capitalisation of £12.4mn, and the likelihood that after a sale of Asta, ACHP would be placed in a member's voluntary liquidation.
ACHP directors said they are “exploring steps to realise for shareholders the Company's investment in Asta”.
“Those steps may include a sale of the Company's investment in Asta, a share sale of ACHP as a whole, or a variety of other options. The directors' goal is to enter into a transaction before the end of January 2019 subject to any regulatory approvals that may be required,”they said.
ACHP has recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the proposal to delist at the annual general meeting on 26 June, which requires no less than 75 percent approval to go through. If the proposal goes through, ACHP expects to delist on 4 July.