We know you like ciggies, Mr Rupert, but UK insurance?

Business

We know you like ciggies, Mr Rupert, but UK insurance?

PensCorp now represents over 30% of Reinet’s net asset value, gradually filtering out the influence of BAT

Marc Hasenfuss


Long-time Reinet observers will know by now that nothing happens too fast at this Rupert family-controlled investment company which is intensely focused on capital preservation.
But perhaps one small development is worth noting in the  year to end-March financial statements – the acquisition of more shares in unlisted UK-based financial services business Pension Insurance Corporation (PensCorp).
Reinet acquired additional shares from other PensCorp shareholders for £6.3m, pushing its stake in the specialist insurer of UK defined benefit pension funds to 43.72% (previously 43.45%).
Admittedly, this is not the biggest deal. But Reinet’s investment in PensCorp is now carried at a not insubstantial €1.48bn – up €175m on last year.
PensCorp now represents over 30% of Reinet’s net asset value, and is gradually filtering out the influence of British American Tobacco, which remains Reinet’s biggest investment.
The key consideration, though, is that PensCorp – according to Reinet – still has a strong pipeline of new business opportunities. The company wrote around £7.1bn of new business in 2018 compared with £3.7bn in 2017, and Reinet reported that to date new business volume in 2019 remained strong.
Such sprightly growth might well require fresh funding in the future, and it will be interesting to see if Reinet opts to take PensCorp to the London Stock Exchange.

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