Aspen celebrates IPO

Aspen Insurance, a London-based international property and casualty reinsurance underwriter has successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Formerly known as Wellington Re, Aspen issued a total of 10.524m new ordinary shares at a price of $22.50 per share. The IPO raised capital in excess of $200m to enable the company to take advantage of further opportunities for growth. Aspen has a market capitalisation of $1.6bn.

Aspen was backed by a consortium of investors in a £448m buyout in June 2002. The investor group was led by Blackstone and Candover and includes CSFB Private Equity, Montpelier Re, 3i, Phoenix Equity Partners, Olympus Partners, Lexicon and Aspen management. None of the investors in Aspen sold any shares in the IPO. The net proceeds of the offering will go to Aspen and will be used to pay down debt and to increase the company’s capital base.

Marek Gumienny of Candover, said: “We are very encouraged by Aspen’s successful IPO and by the strength of demand from investors which has resulted in the issue being significantly oversubscribed. The company is now strongly capitalised and is well placed to take advantage of the ongoing opportunities in the insurance and reinsurance markets.”